Several years ago we switched to only using locally-sourced ethical honey in our products. Because of the honey bee crisis, I wanted to make sure that NightBlooming was doing its part to only support local beekeepers who put the health of their bees in front of honey production.
Now, my husband and I keep our own bees and we keep them to the highest possible standards, putting the bees first and providing critical pollinators to our community–our bees visit hundreds of orchards, vegetable gardens, and flower beds in a 5 mile radius around our home.
Putting the bees first means:
- No antibiotics or other treatments–while this means we lose hives at times, we’re committed to fostering bees that are adapted to our climate and more naturally resistant to varroa and other threats. We focus, instead, on providing natural beneficial plants and mushrooms for the bees to partake of.
- The bees eat first–we only take what honey the bees themselves do not consume over winter. We never feed them sugar or other artificial bee food unless they are out of their own honey and it is a necessity for their survival.
- Minimal intervention–We open the hives as little as possible, often only once or twice a year.
- Participate in our city’s beekeeping community–Advocating legislation that forces farmers to notify when they’ll be spraying pesticides so bees can be kept inside on those days.
Top Bar Hives
Our family made us two top bar hives. Top bar hives are long, horizontal hives that house smaller colonies of bees, are easier to manage, and allows the bees to build their own natural comb rather than forcing them to build on a plastic template.
And they have windows! What isn’t to like about a hive you can peek in on? Our hives are built to the Golden Mean, which is ideal for honeycomb.
Our focus on bees is helping to build up bees that are healthy and will thrive. That are successful pollenators and will breed with the local bees to make all bees stronger. We’re using as little intervention as possible to encourage bees with strong immune systems and disease resistance, which also means that any honey we take will not be full of antibiotics, chemicals, and pest treatments. We will also not take all the bee’s honey and then feed them sugar water or artificial bee food. The best food for bees is honey, and they will get all they need first, and we’ll use the extra.
Bees store honey over winter–this provides not only critical food, but insulation, too. We never, ever harvest honey in the fall and leave our bees these much-needed resources.
Come spring, when fresh nectar starts coming in, the bees stop eating their overwintered honey in favor of what the spring flower provide. Only then do we take whatever the bees didn’t use.
0 thoughts on “Meet our Honeybees!”
This is so exciting! Keewp us posted on how it is going!