Every year, we send our bees on a cross-country journey to California to help assist in the almond pollination process. After a busy time pollinating the almond orchards of California, our hives have made the long trip home and are ready to start producing the sweet, flavorful wildflower honey that our customers love.
A Bee’s Life
Our bees spend six weeks assisting in the almond pollination process starting in February. They head back to the farm in March, where we anxiously await their arrival to start producing wildflower honey!
A bee’s life is short, lasting only six to eight weeks. This means that many of the bees we send will die on the journey. However, the cycle of life sends home the next generation who are happy to arrive at our farm to begin the honey season!
Every year, we can expect a 5-10% loss during the California trip. We are proud to say that we do much better than many bee farms that can see as much as 20% to 30% losses.
We do everything we can to keep our bees healthy and happy. A big part of this is careful cultivation in December and January so that we can make sure the hives are strong in population and resources before they head to California.
We make sure they are on good nectar flows on strong blooms with clean pollen. The bees also feed on the nectar and pollen they collect during the almond pollination process. This year, it was colder and wetter in California, so there was even less almond nectar available for them than usual. Our strict cultivation protocol paid off and kept our bees strong.
Wildflower HoneyWhen the bees came home, we did a thorough check, caring for the weaker hives and making new, stronger hives. In some cases, we also provided a new queen.
We’ve had a strong spring bloom that arrived earlier than usual due to warmer weather here in Florida. The bees have been gathering nectar from Yaupon Holly bushes, High Bush Gallberry bushes, Privet Hedge, several types of river trees and holly varieties as well as many other early spring blossoms. These nectars combine to produce an ideal spring honey.
The spring honey is pulled around the middle of April as the Tupelo trees start to bloom in earnest. Each year brings different flavors and production levels, and we are really excited about the flavor of this spring honey! Wildflower honey flavor varies from year to year based on the strength of the specific nectar flows and the proportion that each nectar source represents in the total volume that the bees collect in a given honey flow. We usually yield anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of honey from our spring honey pull depending on the strength of the hives and many environmental and timing factors.
Following the spring bloom, we move the hives into bee yards on and around the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers to begin the production of Tupelo honey. This is where we find the highest concentration of White Tupelo trees to produce the purest Tupelo honey possible. True honey connoisseurs impatiently await our Tupelo honey each year, which is known for its sweet, unique, and pleasant flavor.
Our bees have been hard at work producing this year’s wildflower and Tupelo honey. Be sure to try some of our delicious wildflower honey today!