The sprawling 65-acres of botanical garden goodness would not be complete without the pollinators that work busily every day throughout the garden. Katie Dickson, Senior Horticulturist and Beekeeper, works during the year to ensure successful development and progression of honey bee hives.
“I feel very fortunate to work at a garden that fosters pollinator health,” she said. “We understand and value the connection between these tireless insects and abundant flowering landscapes.”
This week at Moore Farms, we completed honey extraction and prepared new hives pieces to be used. The honey is delicious in all types of recipes and can be especially beneficial for people suffering from seasonal allergies. Although our focus is to increase pollinators rather than produce honey, it’s a sweet treat to have after a year’s work.
Katie uses the crush and strain method to extract honey from the frames. This method is fast, simple, and utilizes very few tools. Read about other extraction techniques here and decide which one is right for you! It’s important when extracting to make sure the honey is filtered through a fine sieve to remove all the wax particles and impurities. Once the honey is strained, simply put it in jars to store. Raw honey will last for several years without any type of preservation techniques, but may begin to crystallize over time. The term raw indicates that the product has be unprocessed and unheated.
While the honey was straining, there was more work to be done for our bees. Education Intern Olivia Kline worked on painting new hives to be used for hive expansion. Olivia has always been interested in bees and became passionate about their presence during a project in college on colony collapse disorder. “Bees are some of the most amazing and important insects in the world, with intricate social structures, complex means of communication, and cute fuzzy bodies,” she said. “It was a wonderful experience to see the beekeeping operation at Moore Farms and to learn a little bit more about how bees make gardens like this possible.”
Moore Farms is also fortunate to be part of Lake City, SC, which is a nationally recognized Bee City. Bee City, USA is a designation given to cities who make a consistent effort to create sustainable habitats for pollinators. Check out their website for information on how you can be pollinator friendly and help your city earn this recognition.
As always, we love to have visitors at the garden for a pre-scheduled tour, adult class, family program, or social event. Visit moorefarmsbg.org or call us at 843-210-7582 to plan your trip to visit Moore Farms.
By Roberta Burns.