bee1

Straight Talk About The Beers And The Bees

There’s a reason why your parents never told you about the beers and the bees. They don’t know any better.


Hops aren’t pollinated. Barley is pollinated by the wind. No bees are required to make beer using those traditional ingredients.

At Rogue Farms we respect tradition, but we’re not bound to it either. We grow dozens of ingredients beyond hops and barley, and we need lots of honeybees to do it. 7,140,289 bees by our last count.

Honeybees gather nectar and pollen from flowering plants. They need both for a healthy diet. Nectar provides sugar and carbohydrates, and is used to make honey. Pollen provides protein, minerals and vitamins.
Honeybees gather nectar and pollen from flowering plants. They need both for a healthy diet. Nectar provides sugar and carbohydrates, and is used to make honey. Pollen provides protein, minerals and vitamins.

We’re thinking about beer and bees because this week our 2 acres of Prickless Marionberries are budding and flowering.

The buds appear first and are the size of a piece of popcorn.
The buds appear first and are the size of a piece of popcorn.
The flowers of the marionberry are bigger and showier compared to similar plants, such as raspberries. Our honeybees will have no problem finding them.
The flowers of the marionberry are bigger and showier compared to similar plants, such as raspberries. Our honeybees will have no problem finding them.

We placed our hives next to the marionberries because we know how much our bees love them. As soon as the white flowers began popping, the honeybees were busy foraging.

The Prickless Marionberry trellis with our hives in the background.
The Prickless Marionberry trellis with our hives in the background.
bee5
Middle and bottom photos: Rogue Farms honeybees foraging our marionberries.
Middle and bottom photos: Rogue Farms honeybees foraging our marionberries.

Honeybees perform two important duties for us. First, by pollinating our marionberries they help us grow a higher quality crop and more of it. The same is true for our jalapeño peppers, cucumbers and Dream Pumpkins that flower later in the season.

Then at the end of summer, we harvest their surplus honey to brew our Honey Kolsch and Marionberry Braggot. The only reason we can grow our own kolsch and braggot is because of our honeybees.

And it’s not just beer they help us grow, it’s also spirits.

A Rogue Farms honeybee in the Revolution Garden pollinating angelica, one of the ingredients we use to craft Rogue Spirits gin.
A Rogue Farms honeybee in the Revolution Garden pollinating angelica, one of the ingredients we use to craft Rogue Spirits gin.

From spring through summer, the Rogue Farms honeybees visit millions of flowers to create just a pound of honey. The honey gathering season begins early with blossoming cherries, apples and pears, and then moves on to roses, rhododendrons and daffodils. By the end of spring our Prickless Marionberries are in bloom, soon to be followed by our jalapeños and pumpkins. Then there’s the wildflowers, clover and wild berries that surround the farm all season long.

The honey gathered and produced by our honeybees has all of the flavors of Rogue Farms. It’s truly the taste of the terroir. Try a bottle or a glass and taste it for yourself.

This is a great time to visit Rogue Farms. Our berries are blooming, our bees are busy and our hops are climbing. Join us and see how we Grow The Revolution!

rogue-farms-bumper-sticker-oct-2015-grow_the_revolution