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Our Story with Bees Our Honey Bees

Our story with bees

We started keeping bees in 2003.  It was an adventure we knew little about except the fact we liked honey.  Over the years we have tasted many different kinds of honey and have realized that we prefer honey from bees that have gathered it from a variety of sources.  A single source honey such as fireweed honey does not fit our palate.  Years ago, when we lived in Nova Scotia, we would get honey from a farmer whose bees gathered it from the native plants in and around the farm.  To us, that was the best honey we had ever had and that was the kind of honey we wanted to have. 

We started with two hives and the first year got a fantastic crop.  This gave us the courage to continue.  Over the years we have had anywhere from one to seven hives.  One winter we lost all of our hives to a mysterious death of all the bees.  But since we like our honey above all other, we started up again.  Our optimum number of hives is four.  That keeps us busy but does not overwhelm us, since we have a lot of other creatures that depend on us far more then the bees.

Weather has a lot to do with the health of the hive.  A cold Spring is not so good and a cold Fall is not go good either.  Once in awhile, we have a warm Spring.  That to us is a great treat since we get to gather spring honey that consists of honey from spring flowers and in particular, maple trees.  It is the crème de la crème of honey.  Spring honey is very light in color, summer honey is darker and fall honey is the darkest.  Since we live in the Northwest where the Summers are very dry and very few native plants bloom in the Fall, we have planted around our farm a variety of herbs that need very little water and bloom in the fall.  Our bees also like to venture to our neighboring farms were they collect nectar from a variety of vegetable flowers.  This combination of nectar from native vegetation and from cultivated crops makes for the very best honey.  No other honey comes even close in the complexity and smoothness of flavor. 

Our honey

We do as little to this perfect product as possible.  We simply spin the honey from the honey combs and pour it into containers.  We do not heat it in any way.  We feel that heating may in fact not be good for the honey.  Our honey does get thicker with time; it also gets thicker with time in the hives.  We feel this is a sign of quality.  If you are interesting in our honey please contact us for availability at selma@bonedryridge.com

Bees

Bees are awesome creatures.  They don't live very long and during their lifetime will gather about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey.  With this in mind one should really appreciate a spoonful of honey.  They will go as far as three miles to gather nectar.  Since we live on a ridge we notice them flying off in both directions.  One side will take them to mostly native vegetation and the other to our neighbors' vegetable and lavender fields.  This variety of sources makes for the best honey.  They do not bother people.  They simply are out there doing their thing but will only become aggressive if someone is messing with their hive at inappropriate times.  We can work the hives on bright sunny days and the bees don't care that we are taking their home apart but if we work the hives in the evening or on cool days they are not happy. 

If we really understood the importance of bees in our agriculture we would never consider destroying a bee hive.  Bees are a huge factor in pollination for many crops.  They are in fact so important that if we did not have them we would not have the quantity of food we have today.  There has been a huge decline if the number of beehives in North America and other places.  At this time it is not understood what is causing this decline and it still continues.  Beehives are simply dying and we don't know why.  If you find a beehive in your garden, don't kill it.  Honor it instead.  Be thrilled to have one.  They will not bother your if you do not bother them.

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