Tis’ the season!
Our honey makes a perfect holiday gift!
It’s straight from our backyard, and it tastes great. It costs $10 for a pound, and $6 for a half pound.
This time of year, I often get questions on what our bees do during the winter. The bees cannot survive alone outside in the cold, so they cluster together inside the hive to generate heat. In this cluster, they slowly work their way from the bottom of the hive to the top, eating honey that they have stored along the way. However, during this process lots can go wrong. Sometimes the bees work their way up the hive too fast, and once they’re all the way up they do not go back down, other times the bees do not store enough honey and starve. It’s a hard life to be a bee!
Over the winter of 2015 we lost 2 hives, this year we’re hoping to lose none. New Jersey beekeepers will normally lose around 25% of their hives over the winter.
Right now we have plenty of honey, however orders quickly pile up, and we are normally out by mid-February. You can email me at email@example.com, or call 973-744-0701.
We have just extracted honey from our five hives (2 near Edgemont, 2 near Porter park, and 1 near Bloomfield). We spent all day on July 10th bringing in the honey, uncapping, and extracting. We gravity filter our honey at room temperature to keep the great smell and taste of all natural raw honey.
We should have honey bottled and ready for you by Sunday July 17th. It is $10 for a pound, and $6 for a half pound. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and place an order (973-744-0701).
Believe it or not, Spring is here. Already our bees are bringing in bright yellow pollen along with darker yellow and light brown. Hard to know where it’s coming from, but in NJ the first blooming plants are skunk cabbage and spice bush followed closely by maple, hazel, and elms. The NJ beekeepers association has a handy pollen calendar here.
Many of our customers are looking for local, raw honey to help prevent seasonal allergies. According to healthline, medical studies are inconclusive, but if it works for you or your family, then it’s a pretty tasty remedy (though honey should never be given to infants or toddlers under the age of one).
Here’s hoping the snow ends and we can all enjoy a proper Spring–free of allergies!
We just got back from the 2014 NJ State Honey Show where the honey we extracted on June 9th from our Edgemont hives won 1st place in the “black box” category! At these types of shows, judges consider a wide range of criteria for most honey categories–some of which are only about packaging or ability to fill multiple bottles to the same level. The black box category is only about taste, aroma, and texture–what really matters to most people.
Given all the great beekeeping going on, I don’t know if we can say we have the best-tasting honey in New Jersey, but we know we have blue ribbon flavor!
For the first time, our bees brought in a dark fall honey. In the Montclair area, this will be almost all from Japanese Knotweed otherwise known as Japanese Bamboo. This invasive weed is fast growing and hard to remove. It tends to thrive around streams, highways, and railways. While it’s not great for gardeners–or native plants–it’s a big nectar producer and the bees love it.
Our new apiary near Porter Park must be close to a good source of Japanese Knotweed, because the bees went crazy for it this fall and made almost 60 pounds of this special honey. The honey is a beautiful dark amber with a slight buckwheat smell and taste–all characteristics of this varietal honey. It has a distinctive taste, and people say that dark honey has more antioxidants than light honey, so is even better for you.
The other thing to know about this honey is it crystallizes very easily. This is a natural process in all honey, and lets you know that it’s honey and not corn syrup or something else. If you want the honey to pour, then it’s simple to remove the crystals. We recommend that you heat a pan of water up to about 130 degrees, turn off the heat, loosen the lid of the jar, and put the bottle into the water–taking care not to splash water into the honey or immerse above the jar top. Let it sit as the water cools. You may need to do this a couple of times. (You can do this more quickly by heating the water above 130 degrees, but you may lose some aroma and taste.)
We’ve just got this into bottles, so if you’d like to try some of this honey, just let Oliver know when you email or talk to him.