Every July we make plans for the harvest season at Rogue Farms.
The Risk™ malting barley harvest in Tygh Valley kicks things off mid-month, followed by our seven varieties of hops at our farm in Independence in August. But you know what they say about making plans.
This year, Mother Nature and the 7,140,289 Rogue Farms honeybees decided it was time to shake things up.
When we checked on the hives a few days ago we saw that the super boxes, where bees store excess honey, were filling up quickly. The bees were telling us it was time to harvest, never mind that it was six weeks ahead of schedule. So we donned our beekeeping suits, grabbed our hive tools and got to work.
John Maier wasn’t going to miss out. That morning he hopped in his truck and drove over the Coast Range from our Brewery in Newport to our farm in Independence.
As we were pulling frames from the supers, John melted the beeswax off the honeycombs. We placed them in the extractor and spun them around to remove all that sweet, dark amber honey.
Why is this year’s harvest so early? We think it’s because we sent our honeybees to California in February so they could spend the winter pollinating almond orchards.
We also planted several acres wildflowers around the farm this spring. The more sources of wild food they have, the happier and healthier are our honeybees.
Whatever the reason, we’re grateful to see that our honeybees are having such a great season. Considering all the problems honeybees face, it’s nice to think that we might be doing something right by our bees.
At the end of the day, John loaded some buckets of honey into the back of his truck and drove off with them to Newport. On the ride home he was day dreaming of new batches 19 Original Colonies Mead, Honey Kolsch, Marionberry Braggot and anything else he might want to create with our Rogue Farms honey.
Please join us at Rogue Farms this summer for the season of harvesting beer and spirits!