I absolutely love the freedom to go on field trips with my boys. Homeschoolers have all the fun - at least the big nerds like I am do! We had the privilege to visit Hillside Honey Apiary. I love that this place is run by a homeschool family. They were so kind and generous with their time. They were patient with all of our questions and took the time to answer questions from even the smallest of students. They also run a co-op out of the old school that they are continuing to renovate. How cool is that?
First we sat in for a lesson on bees. It was so fun to hear someone share their passion for their craft. Beekeeping is not only science but it is also an art. It takes mentorship, trial & error and hours and hours of study to successfully keep one hive let alone to run a whole apiary! The owner is a veteran and has retired to pursue the opportunity that God gave them. I love seeing people following their passions and dreams.
He showed us what the inside of a hive looks like.
He passed them around so we could see them up close.
He took the time to explain the different types of hives available.
Next we suited up in beekeeper gear. These suits are very warm on a hot late-summer day!
The beekeeper opened up a hive for us.
He showed us the different parts of the hive and took the time to look for the queen.
He let each of us hold a piece of the hive.
We all felt more brave with those heavy gloves.
Here I am being a dork with beekeeper wardrobe malfunction. I was also trying to take pictures through that hat. Apparently I messed up my head piece while doing so.
I think this was the first time I had ever been this close to bees and not been afraid. It was neat seeing everything up close.
One of the things I loved was that we could purchase raw local honey if we wanted. I though the prices were great. I bought the large jug for $20. I realized this year that I wasn't struggling as much with seasonal allergies. I had been using raw local honey in my coffee all year, and it was the first time I didn't need to use my oils to help with my allergies. I wonder if the raw honey helped me develop more of a tolerance to some of the pollen in our area.
They also had some lovely flavored creamed honey. I bought cinnamon.
I kind of couldn't help myself. Silas fell in love with the tiny honey bear. He always asks me if I will save the honey bears for him when the honey runs out.
They also make natural skin products. I am a sucker for stuff like this. They lip balms and lotions as well. Beeswax has so many great skin soothing attributes.
My dry winter hands will thank me for buying this later this year. Thank you Hillside Apiary for your knowledge, expertise and hospitality. We will be back!