WELCOME I farm with feral-survivor bees using treatment-free methods to produce honey and bees for sale.
This site describes how I practice treatment-free methods to handle my honeybees differs and how this practice differs from most other beekeepers. Beekeepers such as us consider ourselves to be outliers. We use no chemicals in our hives and still our bees thrive. It has taken several years to acquire bees that are best suited for my region and unique management style.
My honeybee operation is located in a small town in Southern California where much of the bee pasture is in a chaparral setting. Most honeybee businesses I know have multiple employees, trucks, and forklifts that they use to handle thousands of beehives. I manage only about 25 hives, work by myself, and drive a small pickup. This March 1 and 2 Southern California received four inches of rain. That was about all we got this year, but it was enough to enable many of the deeply rooted wild flowers to secrete nectar. Today is Labor Day, 2014, and honey sits in my garage to be extracted. It appears to be a wonderfully clear wild flower honey and might amount to 500 pounds off of 25 hives. It will set no record, but I am very thankful.
Limited quantities of the following are usually available for sale: -Wildflower honey from treatment-free bees -Pollen from treatment-free bees -Nucs containing feral origin bees on small-cell comb -Treatment-free bees in traditional-style equipment
This is a picture of last year's honey. The lighter colored substance in the jar is sugar that was dissolved and is now coming out of solution as a solid. This jar of honey didn't once experience a temperature near 32 F, it just happened. This honey did what honey does naturally. In two years most of this honey will be solid, like a thick slurry. Some people eat this solid honey by spreading it like peanut butter. When cooking It can be scooped out of the container like lard. Those who need to use the honey in the liquid form warm the container in hot water.
The natural condition of honey at room temperature, that has been removed from the hive, is crystalline. Much of the honey on the market takes much longer longer than normal to crystallize only because of it has been heated. Flash heating, where the temperature is increased by as much as 100 F over a short time period, slows down the crystallization process. The argument for heat-treating honey is that many buyers find liquid honey to be more convenient to use, plus some supermarket shoppers would be put off by the appearance of solid in honey.
There is a price to pay for heating honey and this is why the honey I sell is not heated. Honey is much more than just an aqueous sugar solution. Although most micro-organisms are unable to live in honey, honey does contain a collection of substances associated with life. These entities can have health enhancing properties and can be significantly altered or destroyed when the temperate is raised abnormally.
Starting January 2014 I hope to be selling honey, along with pollen and organic vegetable transplants, at a local farmers market.