Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spring Honey-- Check

-posted by Isaac

The last of the extracted supers are heading back to the bee yards.
Spring honey's all done for another year.
This should have been finished up about ten days ago, but we get distracted sometimes.

This year was just excellent. High quality, wonderfully delicate, beautiful white honey.
And a lot of it.

Among other things, we took some Spring honey to the Pickaway County Fair.

And we cleaned up:
Jayne thought it was silly to put this on here, but I don't mind tooting our own horn.
I also don't mind telling you a few trade secrets... if you're interested in winning honey contests and all the glory that entails.
Here are a few things you need to know:
First, it helps to know the judge.
Second, it helps to pay off the judge.
Third, and most important, it definitely helps to be the only entrant in a category. This one is critical.
C'mon Crawfords, Snokes, Kellers, Jim and Cindy... where are you?

We started pulling spring honey about June 10th. As I said, it was a great crop. We should have nearly enough to get us through the markets for another year. As you know, we don't wholesale this (Sorry Whole Foods customers).

On most occasions, rolling another load into the honey house, the kids had to have samples.

I learned something this year. In the past I have attributed the bulk of the spring honey to the black locust flow:
A little locust bloom, but not much.
But this year the locust bloom was very spotty. Not nearly enough to make a big honey crop.
Where did all this honey come from? It tastes almost exactly the same as spring honey in past years.

Ah, here we go:

The bush honeysuckle bloomed out this spring like I've never seen.
And the bees just went to town.

Of course the russian olive probably has some influence also:
For about a week, this invasive shrub is a favorite of mine. When they're in full bloom, the air just turns to sugar. There's a half mile stretch near Deer Creek Lake that I run by, close my eyes and float through a ball of cotton candy.

Then I open my eyes and dodge cars.

The spring honey is translucent white, beautiful as ever. Come on out to the markets this July 5th. If there's anything left after the fireworks, spend that flag waving money with us! You can try all three seasons:
One from this year, fresh off the hives, two from last.

Of course there's more than just honey...

See you there!


  1. Issac, know anything about Rounduup Ready Soybeans? Here's why. My SIL, planted 80 acres of them and I was going to move a couple hives to that field but.....when CHECKING (see I actually DO read and research) I found this statement.

    The Bowman case involved the
    use of seeds for Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready®” soybean variety with a transgenic gene for resistance to the
    herbicide glyphosate. Monsanto has several patents that cover these genetically modified soybean seeds.
    Soybeans can be considered “self-replicating” because the flowers are perfect (meaning they are self-fertile) and
    cross pollination is almost non-existent. Thus, each new generation of soybean seeds (which for soybeans are
    the beans themselves) will have substantially the same traits as the previous one.

    The way I interpret it is, the plants are self-pollinating. If that is factual it doesn't seem like it would be a worthwhile . Any thoughts?

    1. Isaac is planning on responding- but I wanted to get back to you in case he forgets. Even though the plants are self-pollinating, they still produce nectar which is useful to the bees. Much of Ohio is surrounded by Roundup Ready soybeans, and they are still visited by honeybees to make nectar. - Jayne

    2. Hi Gary,
      Jayne's right. Soybeans are self-pollinating, but bees still can make a honey crop from the nectar put out by those little tiny purple and white flowers. Especially if we have hot and dry weather. Some years the supers can fill on soybeans alone... just shake a frame around mid-July. The big fear now is that the seed treatment, the neonic insecticide is traveling with the plant as it grows and then later hurting the bees as they forage.


  2. Do you sell eggs at your farmstand?

    1. I'm sorry, we do not sell eggs. Thanks.- Jayne

  3. Jayne and Issac,

    Thanks for the info and help.

    Going go for it.