A trip to Buzzing Acres Farm

15 September 2011 § 5 Comments

One of my favorite vendors from the Montclair Farmers’ Market are Tassot Apiaries. Each week Jean-Claude and Beatrice Tassot smile kindly at the little kids lining up to buy their honey sticks.

They patiently answer our painfully obvious questions such as “How many times have you been stung?” and “How did they get those honey bees in the glass box to bring them to the Farmers’ Market?”

When Beatrice invited us to visit Buzzing Acres Farm we were very excited about the prospect of a trip to a “Bee Farm”. Then she mentioned they also had alpacas and chickens, and from that second on The Ladies™ kept asking when we would go to the Bee Farm. So we picked a perfect blue-sky September day to visit.

Jean-Claude has been looking after honey bees since he was a child in Burgundy, France. He now produces about 10,000lb of honey each year.

He showed us the different types of beehives – they have about 20 on their property with about 300 hives spread over local farms across three counties. It is a symbiotic relationship between the bees and the farms as they cross-pollinate many of the crops. The bees also deserve some credit for their help in pollinating the fall harvest of apples, squash and pumpkins.

Hives vary depending on where they are from. The picture above has an African hive on the far left side. The Belgian hive has a slanted roof and a natural wood finish.

As a Welsh nationalist it pains me to say it but the English hives were my favorite. With their pointed roof and their neat white wooden slats they stood proudly among the other hives.

The American hives were functional and square, somehow they reminded me of the USPS mailboxes.

We then saw the honey being removed from the honeycomb.

The combs then go into an extractor, where centrifugal forces remove the honey but keep the comb intact.

The beeswax is used to make candles.

The Ladies™ then fed the Alpacas which was very funny as their gummy mouths nibbled on their tiny fingers.

The highlight of the day was feeding the chickens and then gathering freshly laid eggs from the chicken coop.

Beatrice helping one of The Ladies feed the chickens

Honey bees, alpacas and chickens all in one afternoon. A pretty sweet afternoon that was topped by meeting the farm dog – Princess – a name that enthralled the The Ladies™.

For more information on bees check out the American Beekeeping Federation. 

Tassot Apiaires sell wildflower honey and candles from their honey bees at Buzzing Acres, Milford NJ and from their 300 hives throughout Hunterdon, Morris and Somerset counties. I will be putting their honey to use soon in some honey recipes that I will post next week – maybe some honey muffins as an afternoon treat?

You can find Tassot Apiaries at the Montclair Farmers’ Market on Saturday 8am – 2pm. See their website for details of the other Farmers’ Markets they visit.

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