We keep honeybees for several reasons on the farm. The first reason we keep honeybees is for the pure enjoyment of it. They are an amazing creature and have a highly sophisticated and complex communal system of life. Every time I open the lid to the hive I am instantly catapulted into the present moment. My focus is centered on the actions and activities of the ladies and myself. It’s an amazing feeling to watch, feel, and see one bees wing vibrations reverberate through the entire colony. Like a loud, buzzing rock dropped in water. The ripples and vibrations flow through the colony, and the beekeeper.
The second reason that we keep bees on the farm is for honey. Honey is delicious. It’s one of the most natural sweeteners on earth. The bees are able to take the sweet nectar of flowers and transform it onto a shelf stable super sweet that will last for centuries. Several civilizations through time have toted the medicinal and health benefits of the sweet syrup. It’s chock full of amino acids, enzymes, bits of old beeswax, pollen, and goodness. At least it is when we’re done “filtering” anyway. I prefer to leave as much of the honey as natural as possible. Unadulterated bliss on my lips and tongue. Nature never tasted so sweet.
The third reason to have honeybees on the property is for pollination. Most folks would probably think that this reason would be first. On our farm, we do not grow a lot of vegetables for sale. We grow for personal use. Even then, native pollinators have been shown time and time again to be far better and efficient pollinators than honeybees. I don’t think the honeybees would out compete native foragers, since they’re vastly inefficient in a number of ways. I am sure that they do contribute though. So that’s a good feeling to know that there is sure to be some diversity on our farm. The honeybees filling in where the natives miss, and the natives picking p the slack where the honeybees lag. It’s best not to have all your eggs in one basket. Having honeybee pollination in addition to our native pollinators is a great insurance policy for healthy and hefty fruit sets in plants.
Our honeybees are one of the most fun and interesting creatures on the farm. If you would ever like to go inside a hive during inspections please do join us. Let Heritage Farm know and we can add you to our list of folks that want to learn more about honeybees.