Though the dog may be lazy, the bees stay quite busy and produce a high quality honey from the nectars of the Bluegrass Region of Central Kentucky.
The winter of 2011-2012 was very mild and the colonies held their own and had a rapid build up timed
with the early spring in the Midwest. As result the bees were prepared for the early nectar flow and the production of early spring honey was exceptional - both in terms of volume and quality. Though we expect perhaps 40-60 pounds of harvested honey from a typical hive, some of the more mature hives produced as much as 100 pounds and were still at it when a very sharp increase of temperatures brought a halt to the nectar flow in late June and early July.
The bees forage from a dozen or more bee yards dispersed throughout Central Kentucky surrounding the state Capital, Frankfort. The location of each bee yard relative to woodland, cropland, open meadows, the Kentucky River and its bottom lands as well as rural settlements produce a wide array of very local honey.
Each of the bee yards are harvested and processed separately, retaining the distinctive flavor and aroma profiles of the individual yard, its geography, microclimate and other factors. Though we can’t claim the honey is organic, we add neither chemicals nor antibiotics to the hives. We feed the bees in the spring and fall but insure that the honey supers are removed during those times. This practice insures that only natural honey reaches the comb we harvest from the spring, summer and early fall honey flows. As a family owned operation, we let the bees do the work and beyond mechanically filtering the harvest, the product is theirs: raw, pure and local.
I have always thought of myself as a bee tender - not a beekeeper. As nature would have it, the bees are independent and will not be "kept" should they choose otherwise. As such, we do best by selecting bee yard sites that are favorable for the hive colonies to flourish; have access to nectar and pollen producing trees and flowers; are proximate to fresh water, and are sheltered from the brisk winds of winter and summer storms. We attempt to protect the hives from four legged marauders and must resign ourselves to the vagaries of weather cycles, whether it be heat or cold, draught or rain and snow.