Sunday, June 13, 2010


"IT'S THE CHAMPAGNE OF HONEY" intones Mary Celley, describing the translucent, glistening honey called Black Locust that is clearly her pride and joy. "It's the perfect baste to slather on a roasting chicken; it makes the chicken tender and sweet," says Celley who's been bringing THE BEE CHARMER honey to Market for 30 plus years. That's a lot of honey. But she's got a lot of bees. Let's see. She's got 110 hives on 15 acres and four "other" bee yards. There's 80,000 bees to a hive. No matter how you do the math, that's a heck of a lot of bees.

She says that she's always loved bees and her meticulous bee keeping practices speak volumes for that love affair. The process of extrating the honey, says Mary, begins with tending the frames. There are about ten frames to each box/hive - remember she has 110 hives!. She carefully removes each frame, gently brushing and shaking the bees off with a special bee brush. Then the frames are taken to the honey house where a hot knife is applied to the wax and the honey is "untapped".The honey is then put into an extractor that spins and filters it. It's bottled, brought to market and enjoyed. Oh yes, in case you're wondering about any idle hours that Mary might have when her bee charming is done for the day, she also grows organic strawberries, raspberries and sweet Ambrosia corn.

“Tart words make no friends; a spoonful or honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar” 
Benjamin Franklin

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