Bees

bees on honey comb with queen cell

Here at BOTL Farm we are beekeepers. Years before we started farming, we already had a few backyard hives of honeybees and we’ve been known to move them state-to-state when we moved after college. We are not particularly talented or careful as beekeepers, but we maintain a few hives ever year because the world can’t survive without bees. Honeybee populations are declining worldwide and bees are wonderful. Having honeybees on our farm provides our own (and surrounding!) farms with pollination services. 

Beekeeping is hard. Bees have numerous natural predators plus they are often killed by humans, when homeowners use pesticides/herbicides/fungicides on their lawns/gardens/landscaping or farmers are spraying crops nearby. Then there is Colony Collapse Disorder, neonicotinoids, mites, and a host of other things that kill bees. It’s hard out there.

Honey and Other Products

Our apiary efforts are small-scale, so we are usually sold out of honey. However, our honey is as natural as can be and is a mix of the entire season’s harvest (often called “wildflower honey”).

We also make candles and sometimes have raw beeswax for sale. See our other page for details on that.

Hone in jars with lilac

Apiary Management: A Losing Venture

Bees bearding on front of beehive

We don’t keep enough hives to recover from overwinter die-off, so we don’t sustain our bee populations on our own. We generally need to replace at least a few hives every year so we buy in packages of bees to replace lost hives.

Did we mention that the world would end without bees? We feel strongly enough about continuing to raise bees that we do it despite heavy colony losses and the reality that bees have never been financially profitable for us. If you’d like to support a hive or hives, feel free to donate to our losing cause!

Honey Extractor Rentals

Since we don’t make much honey, our honey extractor sits idle most of the time. If you can use it for your operation or your hives, reach out to inquire about renting ours!

Last Updated on 2023-02-23

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