Bees and Honey
We have 2 beehives on the farm. Years ago, Joshua, our youngest, was interested in keeping bees for 4-H. We bought and put together a top-bar hive in 2016. Top-bar hives are considered a more natural way of keeping bees. Here is a pic from 2016 with Joshua holding a bar from our top-bar hive.
The bees draw their honeycomb from the bar at top of the hive and move horizontally through the hive. When the honey is harvested, the honeycomb must be cut off the bar and then crushed and strained.
After moving to the farm, our bees did well and grew so large that they split and swarmed. We caught the swarm and I ran out and bought a Lansgstroth hive. These are the more traditional hives that you see that look like boxes on top of each other.
In the Lansgstroth hive, the bees live in the lower boxes and put honey in the upper, super boxes. One of the benefits of the Lansgstroth hive is that you can add more boxes onto the hive, encouraging the bees to store more honey. In comparison, the top-bar hive cannot be added on to.
Last fall (2019), I felt that the top-bar hive seemed pretty weak and did not have much honey stored. The Lansgstroth hive seemed much more prepared (i.e. had lots of honey). In February, I found that the top-bar hive was actually still alive! I looked closer at the Lansgstroth hive and the bees had died. I ordered new bees. Then, in March, I found that the top-bar hive was also dead. Shoot! I ordered more bees...
|Package of bees headed to the top-bar hive|
We never heat the honey so it is unpasteurized, raw honey. I was also able to collect a bunch of wax!
- Raw honey is full of disease fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients
- Raw honey is antibacterial and can be used on burns and wounds
- Raw honey contains natural sugars, minerals, vitamins, and pollen (and little pieces of wax)
- Raw honey can be used to sooth a sore throat and cough
I use honey in a lot of my baking and I love to just put butter and honey on fresh baked bread. Fortunately, we have way more than we can use so I have bottled some honey into 1 pound jars. They are available for $10 each. Let us know if you are interested!
As the growing season progresses, we will also have various jams/jellies available. Right now, we have some Roasted Rhubarb jam. Soon, there will be raspberry jam. Then, blackberry, huckleberry, elderberry, apple, plum, pear and so on, just to name a few. I think you get the idea. We only make jam or jelly from plants that we grow or can forage from.
If you are interested in honey, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For some reason, I cannot seem to comment on my own posts! I'm sure there is a button somewhere I need to push to make this possible but I can't seem to figure it out!