Page 59 - S36.Autumn 2019
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 Spring and Fall Honey
 by Roger Dietz
The joys of beekeeping have continued this year and with the addition of five new hives at the Lewis Educational Agricultural Farm (L.E.A.F.) , our adven- ture with these amazing little creatures continues to grow.
A friend of mine, who enjoys discussing bees, took the leap and bought two hives along with all the necessary tools for this hobby. Now I find my- self in the role of mentor. And this seems to be how it goes. I’ve met numerous beekeepers since we started doing this. All are engaged in protecting the environment and all have come to understand the enormous role bees play in the survival of our plan- et. Naturally, the bee conversation intrigues others and some will certainly join the ranks of beekeeper. This is a good thing!
While we enjoy the hobby itself, the harvesting of honey is a certain pleasure. So far, the sale of hon- ey covers the costs; and while we couldn’t call it a business for profit, we’re not going in the hole either. I’m sure there are those making money doing this; I have not yet discovered the formula. I think it takes a lot of hives, a lot of work and a good distribution of bee products.
My daughter, Julia, and I started this hobby to- gether and so far this year we harvested more than 100 pounds of spring honey. Unlike the fall honey we got at the end of last season, the spring honey is more along the lines of what people expect honey to look like. It has a light golden color and is really quite beautiful in a jar.
Spring honey is light in color and taste because the nectar source in the spring is from flowers that produce light nectar, such as clover and locust
trees. However, in the summer and early fall; the nectar source is darker and more robust in flavor as it comes from aster, golden rod and other summer and fall flowers.
I watch the bees with their constant flow of traf- fic; every day and all day there’s a stream of bees leaving the colony and a stream of bees returning with pollen and nectar. Sometimes it’s so many I wonder how they’re not running into each other.
They are amazingly fast and it’s only when the sun is shining just right that you can truly capture this magnificent flow of traffic. The pollen changes, the nectar changes but the job remains the same; nurture new bees and make more honey. Oh, and along the way let’s pollinate the planet and keep it alive!

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