Bee Farming: How Local Farms Differ from Corporate Bee Farming
Ames Farm is a local bee farm located in Minnesota, who focuses their time on creating quality, single source honey that is not only delicious and healthy for their customers, but also friendly towards their bees and the environment. Ames Farm produces a multitude of single source honey, candles, and honeycombs. In many corporate bee farms, bees may be gassed in order to obtain the honey, and are often injured or killed in the process. Ames farm majorly differs from any corporate honey company. Their farm and business relies on their bees, so Ames’ workers work hard to ensure the safety of their bees when moving the hives or extracting honey. I had the honor of touring the Ames Farm property, and seeing firsthand the dedication that these workers have to producing a quality, healthy honey with the least amount of harm for their bees, while also managing to have a great amount of fun!
Single Source Honey
Ames farm focuses on something called Single Source Honey, in which the bee hives are put in a specific location at a specific time of the year so that the honey is made from only one flower source. It is specified as one location, one hive, and one time period. This allows customers to know exactly where and when their honey has been made, with each single source bottle indicating the hive, location. and floral source on the label. Making single source honey depends on the time of the year that the trees bloom, so depending on the seasons, Ames Farm is able to know exactly what type of honey is being made. It is a very specific and difficult process, but produces amazing and unique honeys for Ames! Some of these single source options include Alfalfa honey, Dandelion honey, Dutch Clover honey, and many more. You can find a complete list of their single source honeys on their website, which is linked down below
Throughout the year, Ames’ bees can be susceptible to many harmful diseases or pests that could affect the bees or the honey they produce. Ames pays specific attention to their hives to avoid these pests, and pays close attention to warning signs of possible viruses. The hives are checked daily to ensure that the hives are healthy to produce optimal honey. All honey hives are susceptible to mites from the outdoors that can cause the hives to weaken. Foul brood is a disease that is easily spread and can effect even the strongest colonies. There are warning signs for this disease that are checked daily to ensure that the colonies are staying healthy.
Traveling with the Bees for Winter
Since the weather in Minnesota can get extremely cold in the winters, Ames Farm and all of the hives travel to Texas to keep their bees alive. This is an extremely stressful trip for Ames, because all of their bees are loaded on one to two trucks, and they must avoid road problems at all costs to keep their bees alive and healthy.
Shopping Local has helped the Mogo family learn so much about large farming corporations, and changed their pantry completely. Through Victoria’s daughter, Sarah, we have learned about all of the hard work and passion that family farms put into their products, and why they choose to produce honey this way. Bottom line: if possible KNOW THE BEEKEEPER. It is not only beneficial to your community, but also beneficial to the bees!
Thank you, Sarah, for giving us amazing information about Ames farm and all that it offers! If you are located near Minneapolis, Minnesota, check out your nearby farmers markets or Trader Joe’s grocery stores for Ames Honey!
Bee on the lookout for a separate blog about Sarah Mogilevsky and her journey with finding Ames Farm and the knowledge she has obtained because of it!