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Our Role as Beekeepers

Updated: May 5, 2023

At GravesYard Apiary, honeybees are lovingly tended to. Joe began keeping honeybees

out of sheer curiosity, without any intent to collect honey. But since the "girls" are so very

productive, making far more than they need, we can share in their bounty!

Theirs is a reciprocal relationship. In return for their honey, they provide fresh drinking water and support over an acre and a quarter of native pollinator plantings to provide the nectar and pollen needed to produce honey and inspect the hives regularly to ensure the health of the colonies.

They do not use chemicals to reduce pests common to honeybees, which is common in the industry, even among small beekeeping operations. It's more work for them to inspect and remove hive beetles and other pests by hand, but they could not justify offering raw honey for sale to their customers. Honey is extracted using a centrifugal extractor to preserve the comb so the bees can reuse it, which they happily do because bees expend the energy equivalent of eight pounds of honey to produce one pound of wax. Bees pollinate approximately 125,000 flowers to produce one ounce of honey, meaning bees have to collect the nectar of one million flowers to make enough honey to make one ounce of wax. They have to be mighty efficient at gathering nectar that will become honey.

Joe's Backyard Honey is never heated to make it easier to extract, which makes the process longer and more arduous, but heating raw honey is always out of the question! The honey passes through a stainless steel sieve to remove larger pieces of wax and debris. It will likely have bits of wax and pollen (all wholly healthy and edible). It will appear cloudier than store-bought honey, which is almost always pasteurized, killing off vital nutrients in pursuing a fast, cheap product.

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