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The Honey That Almost Got Away

Honey In Oak Nov 2013 6 thumbnail

We made a sweet discovery this week while laying down some gravel for our new parking lot at Rogue Farms.

Winnie The Pooh would be so proud.

We wanted to make the lot a little bit bigger, and so we knocked over a couple of dead white oaks. No one thought much about it until one of the crew found this…

Honey In Oak Nov 2013 7

…a big beautiful honeycomb.

Here’s what we think happened. Some of the Rogue Farms honeybees got away from us during swarming season and set up their own operation in the dead oak. Swarming occurs in the spring or early summer, when hive populations are growing quickly. If a hive is running out of space the queen and about half of the honeybees will take off in search of new location. A beekeeper has a short period to find the swarm, get it under control and place it in a new hive, or it will be gone forever.

Almost forever.

Just thinking about oak aged honey was making us hungry, and with no honeybees in sight, we tried some.

Honey In Oak Nov 2013 6

It was delicious!

As for the rest of the Rogue Farms Honeybees, the ones that didn’t get away, their job is done for the year. We moved our hives to a wintering area near the hazelnuts. There they’ll be safe from floods, wind and predators. They took care of us this summer by making the honey for Rogue Farms 19 Original Colonies Mead, Honey Kolsch and Braggot.

Now it’s our turn to take care of them.

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