Bee Keeping and the Benefits of Local Honey
At Patterson Farms we take pride in the fact that we showcase locally made brands in our market. One of our popular spring items, honey, is made right here in Mt. Ulla by Denny Booe, and also in China Grove by Michael Borne. The honey is available in a 24 oz. jar, or a 16 oz. squeeze bottle in our market. Click here to shop now!
Local Bee Keepers
For the past six years, Denny Booe has visited Patterson Farms to install observation hives in the “Bee Barn”. He has been beekeeping for 45 years and currently maintains 50 hives in Rowan County. Bees continue to intrigue him because of how much of an impact they make and because they are amazing to watch grow. The Bee Barn is part of a field trip that allows students to observe the hive through plexiglass so they can see up close and personal how a working beehive operates. The bees make honey, clean and build more comb cells, and care for their young. The children will also have the chance to learn how important bees are for pollination of our crops. The many tasks that bees perform on a daily basis are what continued to intrigue Denny over the years. He also produces raw honey with his own bees that are available for purchase in our market!
Denny’s daughter, Jenny, also has an impact here at Patterson Farms. She is an artist and has designed bee barn quilts, in addition to, her decorative bee hive that she hand-painted. If there was one thing that she could share with everyone, it would be how harmful pesticides like Round-Up can be to the sustainability of the bees. These products can be detrimental to the health of the bees and are commonly used for home gardening. She suggests that if the products cannot be eliminated altogether, they should be used at dusk so that the bees have already gone into their hives and will not track in the deadly chemicals.
We also have a local bee keeper who comes out to our farm and places hives near our fields. Michael Borne is a local beekeeper that installs hives near our fields and crops. It is very common for farms to have working relationships with beekeepers to help keep flowers in bloom on the farm and pollinate the crops. This is very important for our farm because these bees help pollinate some of our crops that would not survive without this process. The pollination process is what turns blooms into a vegetable or fruit, and crops like squash, cucumbers, and strawberries are dependent on pollination for growth!
Local raw honey not only tastes delicious, but it is also full of health benefits that many people are unaware of. Honey is full of healing properties that can help soothe a sore throat by coating it and even killing bacteria! That’s right, local raw honey acts as an antiseptic and many types of bacteria cannot survive in honey. This antimicrobial property also makes honey a great alternative to treating wounds by speeding up the healing process and diminishing swelling. Do you have seasonal allergies that have been flaring up with all of the pollen that’s been lingering for weeks? Honey can help! By taking locally made honey that contains allergens relative to your area, you are essentially gaining the same effect over time as receiving allergy immunizations. Trust us, a sip of honey is much better than a shot from a doctor! Honey bees are the only type of bees that produce honey, but there are many other types of bees that help with pollination. Bumble bees, sweat bees, and squash bees are just as important as honey bees when it comes to pollinating crops and flowers. No matter the size, all bees play an important role here at Patterson Farms.
Benefits of Beekeeping
Being a Beekeeper may seem like a daunting task, but there are many benefits to this natural hobby. Bee hives are actually very low maintenance and require less than 30 minutes of care each week, and honey is harvested twice a year. Having bees around will also benefit any plants you have. Bees will pollinate your plants and fruit trees, making your surrounding area even more beautiful.
Did you know?
Did you know here at Patterson we actually rent bumble bees? That’s right! Sometimes honey bees can be too small or too weak to get into the flower of a plant to pollinate it properly, so bumble bees (which are larger) are brought in to help. We do this specifically with our tomato plants. While they are growing in the greenhouse, we place bumble bees in with the plants before they are planted in the field.
Zip down to our Bee Observation Hive and get the buzz on our farm pollinator with our Buzz on Bees Tour! This tour will discuss the importance of honey bees and beekeeping, such as equipment, hive components, and what it takes to be a Beekeeper. Participants will learn about this important insect, its life cycle, and behaviors.
If you are interested in learning more about bees and beekeeping in Rowan County, check out the Rowan County Beekeepers Club on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/RowanCountyBeekeepers/