CHILLICOTHE (WEEK) — A “pick-your-own produce” farm welcomed guests Sunday to learn about honey bees and how beekeepers extract honey from hives.
Crooked Row Farm has two bee boxes where layers of sweet honey are produced within the waxy hive walls.
Sunday, beekeeper Walt Berchtold started by using a special smoker to calm the bees.
Then, he picked out which frames were ready for harvesting and safely shook the bees off the frame and back into the box.
The next step was to carefully chip into the wax with tools so the honey could seep out, and finally, the frame was put into a special vat that uses centrifugal force to push the honey out of the wax.
Berchtold said he started beekeeping nearly six years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
“When I first started (beekeeping), I bought it for my apple orchard, and now I could care less about the apple orchard,” Berchtold said. “I’m so fascinated with bees, that’s all I want to do now … We need bees for our food production, so this helps people see the fruits of our labor.”
Berchtold said bees visit around 3,000,000 flowers in order to produce a pound of honey.
Plus, the bees only live for around 45 days in the summer, so the queen bee has a lot of work to do to keep the hive populated.
Crooked Row Farm has a ton of activities and products available, including rows of strawberries and raspberries for picking, plus cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, peppers and more.
You can find Crooked Row Farm off Lakeland Lane in Chillicothe.
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