Honey!

At Zook's Orchard we practice natural beekeeping.  We put no chemicals or medications in our beehives, including wax foundation that 'could' be laden with chemicals.  We allow our girls to build their comb to their own specifications which ultimately results in a more natural smaller cell size.  This smaller cell size results in a smaller size bee and helps the bee colony keep hive-threatening pests in check.  We use a Horizontal Langstroth hive of our own design which makes tending the hive much easier for the beekeeper and, therefore, much less disruptive to the bees.  It also seems to keep them much calmer.  What does this mean to you?  We think that happier bees means better tasting honey.  You be the judge!

Right now in the apiary...

May 4, 2019.  We suffered a bit of a setback this spring, discovering that we had lost 2 of our 6 beehives over the winter.  Hard to say what actually happened.  The hives had no bees but were completely full of honey.  So we at least know that they did not starve and must have left the hive in late fall.  But that is beekeeping.  We are already working on expanding our honey production by building and putting in place 2 more beehives (so we now have 8) and working on splits and other techniques to generate new colonies of bees to occupy all 8 hives.  So far this appears to be progressing well.  We will know more over the next few days.
We have wild blackberries everywhere and the honeybees love the blossoms.  Some say that blackberry honey is some of the best!
A Zook's Orchard honeybee gathering nectar from a Zook's Orchard blueberry blossom!
Our girls love the early blooming redbuds that are all over Zook's Orchard
'It's better than Christmas when you surprise them with a jar of Zook's Orchard honey!'
Zook's Orchard has over 100 redbud trees and our honeybees love them!  These early blooming trees get the girls off to a good start with their nectar and pollen gathering.
Our girls love the Zook's Orchard fall goldenrod!
Every fall Zook's Orchard is covered with wild goldenrod and white asters which both provide our honey bees with one final source of pollen and nectar for their buildup of honey stores going into winter.  Our beehives are surrounded by goldenrod!