We’re open this Sunday, October 21st from 1-4 pm. And, yes, we DO have bulk honey buckets available and in both one and five gallon sizes. We also still have all three of our 2018 honeys in mason jar sizes.
Come see us and holiday shop on Saturday, November 17th, beginning at 10AM, at the Orchard Valley Waldorf School’s Benefit Holiday Market held each year in Montpelier the Saturday before Thanksgiving. We’ll have all kinds of honey, botanical goodies, beeswax candles, cordials and other hive and woods-sourced wonders to keep the spirit stoked like a good wood-stove all winter long.
September 25th/The everlasting gobstopper/japanese knotweed honey, oh my! Our home hives are normally used only for our queen breeding endeavors and aren’t for honey production, but this late September they literally plugged up with a fast and furious Japanese Knotweed crop, after being deprived of any great nectar flows for the whole summer. We took a small crop from them for the first time, and lo and behold, it’s totally nuts. It’s like a grape popsicle and then an Elderflower cordial and, and…OK, Japanese Knotweed is a pretty amazing plant and it makes some incredibly good honey. Walk in it at night when its blooming and it rivals a stroll through jasmine plants peaking in flower in the tropics. And if you’re the right type, take a small bite to introduce yourself to a magical plant spirit. Wait until you see what you feel in your body as this very interesting honey goes down…
Late September 2018: Mid-month we harvested honey crop #2 for this season. A light-colored fall crop of Aster, Goldenrod and Joe Pye/Eupatorium nectars. It’s milder then last years fall crop but typically spicier and more complex then the earlier summer crop.
Bee Health September, 2018: Another new study documenting that glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, causes meaningful harm to honey bees has recently been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It demonstrates that by effectively diminishing or eliminating a particular healthy gut microbiome bacteria that helps honey bees fight infection, their exposure to Roundup is resulting in their overall health declines in significant ways. Here's a juicy bit on the study from Science magazine: “In recent years, U.S. commercial beekeepers have seen almost a third of their hives fail during the winter, more than twice the historic rate. Researchers believe that pesticides, pathogens, parasites, and nutritional problems all play a role. A major strength of the new paper is that it points to a mechanism—the disruption of gut microbes—for how a pesticide could affect the bees, he says. The discovery also raises questions about whether glyphosate is affecting the microbiome of other animals, including people.” Yeah, that’s a big problem.
Bee Health August, 2018: A recent study from England reflected that the EU's ban on the use of neonicotinoid class pesticides has not protected honeybees and wild pollinators as well as was hoped. The presence of these compounds in commercially available bug sprays and box store nursery plants that weren’t included in the ban are speculated to be the culprit. It was hoped that lowering the honey bees overall exposure to these chemicals would mean a diminishment in their negative impact on the bees health, but it appears to not be, calling into question whether ANY exposure to this class of compounds can be tolerated by honey bees without the negative impacts on their health and functioning. To read more about this study google the journal scienceblog.com and look for the article entitled ' EU pesticide ban failing to protect bees'.
August 2018: We're extracting 2018’s first honey crop now. It's a bright yellow colored honey our friend fearn called "gentle". It's quite different from our usual mid-summer Basswood honeys of the past, thanks to this summer's drought. So, drumroll please, honey crop #1 this year is a mix of BirdsfootTtrefoil, White Clover, Alfalfa and Star Thistle.
July 24, 2018 Hive and Honey Update: Ridiculous hot and dry weather for the bulk of the season was tough on the bees, and a whole lot of plants and creatures for that matter, but bee-specifically, there wasn't much of an early summer nectar flow due to the scant rainfall amounts and extreme heat. When these less then happy hive conditions just hung on and endured, the bees made due and worked extra hard to put up smaller then normal crops with less intense flavors then we experience in a formally more normal Vermont weather pattern for summer. Let’s just say the bees were pretty cranky this summer and global warming ain’t really working out that well for anything or anybody.
Winter 2018 brought some changes to Bee Haven: We’re working on slowing down. Overall, this means we’re going to be making less honey and feeling less pressure - both humans and hives is the idea. From now on, our bulk buckets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis, from our farm, on Sunday afternoons only, from 1-4 pm. Our home shop will be open on Sunday afternoons throughout our July 1- Thanksgiving season, whether we have buckets available or not, and it will have a stock of our honey in pint, quart and half gallon mason jars throughout the season, as well as our natural body care, beeswax candles, medicinals and herbals, cordials, vinegars and other hive, garden and forest-focussed products.