Many years ago, at the same time we were introducing the raspberries to the field we took a bee keeping class at Ohio State University. We thought keeping bees with the raspberries were a natural combination. When that class concluded, we concluded that bee keeping was far too much to take on at the same time we were learning to produce raspberries well. Since we don't do it unless we're going to do it well, we dropped that idea. But that idea didn't really go away. In the years since that decision, we've introduced flower gardens with the intention off eventually keeping bees. 2017 is the year for that.

We've talked to people who keep bees, we have a good friend who has advised us, and now we're ready. There's been a lot of talk about the Flow Hive™, we've heard pros and cons and we landed in the camp that says Flow Hive™ is the way we wanted to get into bee keeping. Starr surprised me with 2 Flow Hives™ for Christmas in 2016, in 2017 we hope to have honey for markets.

The Flow Hive™ is a truly amazing invention. It eliminates a lot of the interfering with the bees traditional hive keeping requires. It allows the keeper to pour the honey directly from the hive to the jars. This benefit gives us the ability to say we are offering pure, raw, unprocessed honey and really mean it. This differs greatly from the processing traditional beekeepers must do which involves disruption of the colony, lots of strainless steel and movement of the honey from the hive to processing equipment before it ever sees a jar. Our honey is 100% pure, raw honey; never pasteurized or high-pressure filtered. Unprocessed, unfiltered raw honey retains all the health benefits like the live enzymes, trace vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, antibacterial properties, but most importantly, preserves the natural taste and aroma of the honey.


Our Flow Hives™ reside in the raspberry field. This doesn't mean our honey will taste like raspberries! It means our bees will enjoy all the flowers our raspberry plants produce in the Spring. Our raspberry field also has chamomile, dandelions, violets, blackberry flowers and melons! Plenty for them to do! We've also installed over the years flowering perennials for cutting, but now for the bees too!

A honey bee will fly up to 2 miles searching for flowers. Since one has no control over pesticides and herbicides that may be used in a 2 mile radius, the prudent beekeeper attempts to keep his bees busy and local! As if the raspberry field wasn't enough, Shagbark Farm is also home to many flowering herbs and wild flowers and the surrounding forested acres are filled with Tulip poplars, American Redbuds and Spicebush - all put on a pretty spectacular floral display in the Spring!

Honey is made up of 38.2% of fructose, 31% glucose and only 1.3 % sucrose. Raw unprocessed honey contains many substances important to human nutrition. It has all of the B-complex, A, C, D, E, and K, minerals and trace elements: magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese. The live enzyme content of honey is one of the highest of all foods.

Raw unprocessed honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, it is a powerful antioxidant, it strengthens the immune system, it eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves and can sooth ulcer symptoms. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. Local honey also has the added benefit of reducing symptoms of allergies. Consuming traces of pollen in the honey may decrease the impact of some airborne pollen.

Our plans are to extract honey three times during the year: Late Spring, Mid-Summer, and tentatively in the Fall. This allows for seasonal variations in the color and taste of the honey, bringing out distinct floral flavors and aromas that are representative of all the flavors of Shagbark Farm!! Each season brings a different type of honey as the nectar flow changes.

The Beekeeper's Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses

Backyard Beekeeper - Revised and Updated, 3rd Edition: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden - New material includes: - ... urban beekeeping - How to use top bar hives

The Compleat Meadmaker : Home Production of Honey Wine From Your First Batch to Award-winning Fruit and Herb Variations

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