I LOVE honey. Maybe a little too much but is there even such a thing? I didn’t think so. I have jars of honey in my pantry at all times and have been known to put honey on some odd things (like mashed potatoes- yum!). Whenever we travel I make it a point to find some local honey. And I’m not talking about the super processed kind from the grocery store but real honey that’s minimally processed by local beekeepers, collected by those hard working honeybees that are oh so important to us humans (hence the recent efforts to save them). I love trying different varieties of honey as they’re all unique, dependent on the local flowers in the area frequented by the bees. During the winter at a local farmer’s market I even found some wildflower honey collected from the desert in my beloved state of Arizona. So, when I had a chance to visit with Roger of Franklin Honey Company, located at 1 Green Street in Franklin, I was definitely excited to learn more about the process and of course taste some delicious honey.
Started back in 2006 Franklin Honey Company is a family run business operated by Roger and his daughter Lauren. In addition to delicious unprocessed raw varieties of honey they also create soaps, candles & lip balms using beeswax. If you’re having a bridal or baby shower they even offer miniature jars of honey that make wonderful (and tasty) favors. You can visit their booth at the weekly Franklin Farmer’s Market located at the town common to stock up. Franklin Honey Company also offers a variety of beekeeping services including removal of honeybees & swarms plus pollination services. Roger explained that some of their hives can be found down on the Cape alongside cranberry bogs. Speaking of cranberries, Franklin Honey Company also collaborates with other local businesses including La Cantina Winery (see their previous photo spotlight) – the result? Delicious local wine made with local honey! Such a wonderful concept.
During my visit I photographed the extraction process during which time Roger was kind enough to let me scrape some of the wax seals off of the honeycombs before placing the frames into the extractor. It was a sticky job but I really enjoyed it and it served as a great reminder of the hard work that goes into making every jar of honey. All of the time and effort required is something that many of us don’t consider not to mention the heavy lifting of each box. An average shallow honey super can weigh between 20-25 lbs each! Once the honey is extracted it passes through a screen mesh before flowing into a large bucket, this screen ensures that the honey doesn’t contain any debris such as bits of wax etc. Honey that is sold as raw contains all the pollen, enzymes and other micronutrients that are usually filtered out or destroyed by heat when the honey is processed. If properly stored, honey will not spoil. However, honey will ferment if it is diluted by moisture from the atmosphere or by other liquids. Prevent fermentation by keeping honey containers tightly sealed before and between uses.
A diagram of the basic components of the average beehive:
Here are just a few interesting facts about bees:
- The honeybee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
- Consuming a teaspoon of local honey a day will help with pollen allergies as it contains trace amounts of pollen to help build immunity.
- A hive of bees consists of 1 queen bee, 40 to 60 thousand female workers and 1,000 male drone bees.
- Honeybees are responsible for pollinating over 75% of all fruits and vegetables.
- The honeybee flies around 90,000 miles -three times around the globe -to make one pound of honey.
For more information including Franklin Honey Company products, bee services, event announcements, and contact info please visit http://www.franklinhoney.com/.
For more information on what you can do to help save the honeybee please visit www.honeybeehaven.org