Are swarming bees dangerous?

Not very dangerous at all. The bees are trying to find a new home so they are not defending a home. Many of them have honey in their tank and this makes them full like they just ate a Thanksgiving dinner. What they want to do is stay in a ball around the queen until the scout bees herd them along to their new home. Swarming is just an interim activity necessary while moving to the new place. Please call me if you have a swarm you want rescued.

 

Do you sell beeswax, royal jelly, pollen or propolis?

Yes, we sell beeswax and pollen. We don’t sell propolis or royal jelly.

How do you get the bees to make a certain variety of honey?

The answer is that we don’t. They decide where the greatest nectar source is and that is what they collect. They have scout bees that come back to the hive and do a dance inside the hive that tells the other foragers what distance from the hive and what direction in relation to the sun is the nectar source. Within a few minutes to a couple of hours the hive will have sent many foragers to the nectar source. They will collect nectar until the source has dried up. Nectar can flow for hours, days or weeks. We say “the flow is on” when this happens. A large hive can make 30 pounds of honey in a day if the conditions are right.

What we do is steal their excess honey soon after each nectar flow. When they have put a wax cap on the honey comb it is now honey. If we harvest it before the next flow then we get a varietal honey as opposed to a blend of honeys that you would expect if you only harvested in the fall.

How many bees in a hive?

10,000-100,000.

I get asked, “Do you ever get stung?”

Yes, all the time! When I’m opening up a hive and I accidentally squish a bee they smell alarm pheromone and many bees will try to sting me.

Many people are afraid of bees because they don’t want to get stung. They swat at bees and in the process get stung. Bees are pretty docile when they are not defending a hive. You see if they sting you they die so they must have a good reason to give up their life like that. If a bee lands on you try to remain calm. It’s probably just resting and will continue on its way as soon as its ready. Bees are attracted to sweet smelling perfume, hair products, sugar and especially honey. I have been stung a few times when a bee has accidentally got caught in my hair. It really gets them upset.

A lot of us beekeepers actually look forward to getting stung in the spring time. It seems to help with mild arthritic joint pain. I don’t swell or itch anymore either but it still hurts.

Is anything added to your honey?

Nothing is added, not even to the creamed honey. It’s all what the bees made. The color and flavor of the honey is determined by the nectar sources that the bees go to. (more…)

We get asked by many of our customers where is the plain honey?

The answer is that what we sell is real honey made by our bees. Real honey is made from the nectar of flowering plants. The variety of honeys comes from the nectar sources. So a honey like Blackberry Blossom comes from the nectar collected from the flowers of blackberry vines. We do not sell artificially flavored honey. We only sell honey that hasn’t been heated or filtered. All of our honeys contain pollen and the healthy enzymes found in real honey. There is a difference.

What do I do if my honey crystallizes?

All honey will crystallize eventually. Some honey will crystallize in a week if it is already starting and others like pure fireweed could take a year or more. What you do when it crystallizes is to set the jar on the dash of your car on a sunny day and go inside the mall to shop. The natural method. A more reliable method is to heat up water to hot but not boiling temperature, take it off the burner and then set the jar in the pan for 10-15 minutes or until it is de-crystallized. You never want to heat honey in a microwave as you will destroy the healthy enzymes in the raw honey. We do not exceed 104 degrees when heating honey.

What do you do with comb honey?

Comb honey is how your great grandparents ate honey.

  1. You can eat it with a fork. Just chew the wax and let the honey squish out in your mouth. Spit out the wax or swallow it as it is edible.
  2. At a party you serve it on a platter of brie, apple slices, cheese and crackers. Make it the center piece of the platter. It will be a big hit and your guests will talk about it later.
  3. Crush it on a hot English muffin and let the wax soften.
  4. Take pieces of the comb and dip it in chocolate and freeze it until it hardens up. A friend of ours does this.
What is creamed honey?

Our creamed honey is made by a process that turns crystallized honey into a smooth butter like honey that is spreadable without dripping. Perfect for kids, no sticky spills! It is still raw honey. It has only been gently stirred and has no air whipped into it. Like butter it is hard if cold and soft when warm. We recommend leaving it in a warm room.

What is raw honey?

Raw honey is honey that has not been heated above normal hive temperatures or filtered to remove pollen. Most commercial honey has been heated in order pump it through micro filters. Pollen is removed in this process in order to prolong shelf life before it crystallizes. Most customers want raw honey for it’s health properties.

What is the best tasting honey?

Taste is an individual thing. It’s a question I get asked often. The best way to know for sure is to taste a sample of the honey and pick the one that you like the best. There are no wrong answers on this one. My favorite is usually the one I am eating at the time. Especially if it has just come out of the honey extractor!