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9642 Randle Rd
Williamsport, OH, 43164

Honeyrun Farm produces pure raw, honey, handcrafted soap, and beeswax candles in Williamsport, Ohio

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Harvest Time

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

Ok, enough of the pollen. And sorry if I offended some sensitivities with that last post. I get carried away sometimes. Also, if you were wondering (or happen to be six years old), hurricanes don't really run on pollen. That was a joke.

So lets get back to the honey. We're now full swing into the fall harvest. A couple days ago I happened to be driving a load of empty supers out through the field and found the cousins getting ready to run some soybeans.

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Their own version of harvest... the one that everyone knows.

That shot found its way to Facebook and it really seemed to make a splash. Mostly, I think people will hit "Like" with any picture involving a combine or tractor. But I think a few people were struck with the differences in the forms of harvest. Or maybe it was just a cool picture...

Seeing the big equipment in the fields, five year old Bridger becomes star struck this time of year. He begs, "Dad... um... can we go farming today??"

I say, "Sure son! I'm so happy you want to. Hop on in the the bee truck!"

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Of course, this isn't even close to what he meant. Beekeeping isn't farming. 

 But it is son, it is! It's just not quite as glamours. Maybe someday he'll come around.

For me, this year's fall harvest is about as fun as farming gets.

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Most of the yards look like this. Just beautiful.

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Big fat filled-out frames make for easy "combining."

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Our combine is stainless steel and sits in one place all day long. Boring...

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No, it's not a big exciting monstrous green thing roaring through the fields. But on the other hand, it's not near as expensive. To buy or to run... or to fix. If we have a breakdown it usually involves some wrenches and a few minutes. I keep my sanity.

If that big John Deere breaks down, it can be hours to days of delay, and involve very expense parts and tech support... all during a critical and limited time period.

High up in the corner is our version of a grain buggy:

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I happened to be walking by when the sump filled and the honey pump kicked on for the first time. What you see going up that tube is the very first of this year's fall harvest.

We've been going for eight days now and have twice filled and emptied that big tank. I guess our 'grain buggy' just isn't run as hard as the farmers'.

But we have a nice side product that accompanies our main crop:

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Soon to become beeswax candles! Quite a perk to any harvest.

There are other benefits to the simplicity of beekeeping. I mean, my biggest problem this week-- my smoker went out. Twice!

And another thing struck me. I've been hard at it all week. About five days ago we had an inch or two of rain. The big grain equipment, much to Bridger's dismay, has been sitting motionless. The grain remains standing in the field. 

But on the beekeeping side of harvest, I think I skipped one afternoon, but as soon as the rains cleared, I was right back in the 'fields.'

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A little wet ground can't keep a beekeeper off the job. It's harvest time!

Bee Pollen - A Convenient Truth

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

What do you do with bee pollen? What is this? What's it used for?

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Every week at the market, same questions, same worn out answers. Jayne and Jess handle it better than I. They smile patiently, draw the customer's interest, and proceed to sell a jar of pollen. Myself, frustrated with typical consumer ignorance, I just hand this out:

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And glare.

For the people who don't immediately walk away disgusted with the customer service, this paper offers a sort of summary. In very matter-of-fact terms we learn a few somewhat boring facts about bee pollen. As only words on a sheet of paper can do, it kind of explains that there are some health benefits to this stuff... in the same way you'd kind of explain that there are some atoms in the universe.

No, there's just no justice here. In this post I hope to remedy the unrevealed and cure the colorless. It's the convenient truth about bee pollen. Let's spread the gospel and shine the light on this amazing superfood!

First, a personal testimony.

So a few months ago I was doing my grocery shopping, and unbeknownst to me, some sneaky lowlife dog came up from behind and took a picture at the exact moment of my peril. 

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And not only that, the sonofagun made a meme out of it! Next thing I know, I'm the laughing stock of the internet. All my friends, neighbors and coworkers getting their jollies at the expense of yours truly! 

Now I'm not sure if he was making fun of Walmart or my faulty fat-boy cart, but that doesn't much matter. What matters is that it pissed me off! In fact, it pissed me off so much, I totally changed my diet. Bee pollen to the rescue! Oh, don't get me wrong, I still loves me some Big K Cola, but now I use my daily 12 pack to chase down a couple teaspoons of pollen. It kicked off a complete metamorphosis! Thank you glorious bee pollen! Now I run marathons.

Meme this you sonofabitch!

Meme this you sonofabitch!

And I'm proud to say I can kick Mason's ass. How? Well, how do you think?? He doesn't take his bee pollen. I do!

Now let's examine the wonders of pollen in a more public setting. If you'll remember, about a year ago we were engulfed in a monumental race for the White House. Of the non-pollen users we had a sniveling socialist with hemorrhoids who didn't even make it through the primaries.

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And we had a dope smoking libertarian who captured a whopping 3% of the vote.

Hey buddy, you toke, you choke...

Hey buddy, you toke, you choke...

Well, all I can say is Let Freedumb Ring!  Look who remembered to take his pollen!

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How else do you think he can fire off those tweets at 3 am?

God bless the USA! And God bless the Donald!

And while we're at it, God bless God!

That's right, God. Yet another pollen crusader who's been taking it for like, eternity.

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"Sinners repent, or feel ye the wrath of bee pollen!"

Seriously folks, if the Almighty takes a daily dose, shouldn't you too?

It's basically the Omnivore's Non-dilemma. I'm telling you, big things can happen on the pollen diet. Let me explain this with a little elementary history lesson. Way back in the 1700's we had 13 puny and somewhat miserable colonies. 

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Why were they miserable? Because they were small. And blue.

They were even afraid to call themselves states. Yes, a sad state affairs it was- not taking themselves seriously, bickering with England, and oh yeah, not taking their pollen.

Eventually, round about 1776, they figured some things out and got on the pollen wagon.

By 1845 we had Texas.

(And we don't!)

(And we don't!)

Well,  maybe we don't mess with Texas, but just a few weeks ago somebody had the gonads to give Texas a much unwanted bath. A somebody we all know as Hurricane Harvey. That's right, Big Bad Harvey- the most expensive storm in the history of mankind.

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And, an avid pollen user I might add. You see, hurricanes occur in the fall, and we all know what also fills the air in the fall-- pollen. Lots and lots of pollen. How to you think these storms reach such size and strength? By sucking up dairy farms and sugarcane fields? Not hardly. It's the pollen, dummy. The pollen!

In fact, as Time Magazine points out, these storms are getting stronger. Below is a comparison of tiny Hurricane Andrew from 25 years ago, and  big fat Hurricane Irma from four weeks ago. Now climatologists and the scientific community, as they are apt to do, will spout off some scientific B.S. about rising global temperatures and increased atmospheric heat causing bigger storms. (yawn) This may have some bearing, true, but they have obviously missed a huge variable in their geeky calculations. Any beekeeper with half a lick of sense will tell you why Irma was such a monster: the goldenrod was in bloom!

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Step back and think about it. (But not too hard.) If pollen can deliver such benefits to a human body, imagine what it can do for a storm the size of Texas! I know, I know, a decidedly inconvenient truth. 

So why the title of this post? Well... I didn't say it was convenient for everyone. I guess I mainly meant convenient for us. We sell the stuff.

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But folks, it's like anything-- a powerful weapon, a fast car, a highly intelligent wife-- you have to proceed with caution and avoid the pitfalls. Basically, don't overdo it!

For those of you thinking about taking the leap, you now know some mighty tall truths about bee pollen. Where you take it from here is up to you. It's yin and yang, my friends. Sure, you have the yin of angry storms and stormy presidents, but the whole of the pollen picture also includes the yang of enormous health benefits. Health benefits to you! 

For you bee pollen regulars, I'm sure we just covered things that you already knew. Sorry to waste your time. But thanks for reading anyway. And thanks for spreading the good word about pollen. If you keep buying, we'll keep collecting.

You really are buying this stuff, right? 

You really are buying this stuff, right?