Our unique Single Source Honey process means we keep each wood box, called a honey super, of 9 combs separate. Honeybees encounter many different nectar sources each season. A super of 9 combs may contain combs of 2-3 different floral sources or just one. Depending on the strength of the bees and the weather that season, certain plants produce a lot of nectar or maybe none at all.
We produce between 900-1200 supers that weight between 20-34 pounds each season. Each one is extracted or if its cut comb is cut into pieces, tasted and the floral source identified. Some of these supers of our best honey stand out for their unusual color, flavor and moisture level.
The 2021 honey season at Ames Farm will be remembered well as a hot, dry, and longer season. The best honey I have selected from this past year for this unique rare collection are:
The color of this honey is the first indication its special and unusual. It is a green- yellow neon color with a butterscotch aroma and slightly bitter finish. This years batch has a bit of goldenrod added that gives it a tangy like flavor.
The last time we made any substantial amount of Purple Loosestrife Honey was 2007 and the last crop of any kind was the summer of 2014. As native, late season wild flowers continue to disappear in Central Minnesota, invasive wildflowers like Purple Loosestrife are becoming more and more important for honeybees and native pollinators.
Honeydew is a separate category or type of honey produced by bees collecting the excrement of aphids feeding on cedar, pine or oak trees. While common in much of the world its rarely isolated, packed and sold in the USA. In Europe "Forest Honey" is well known for its high mineral content, semi sweet, earthy flavor. We collect some each spring at the St. Lawrence Farms location situated on 600 acres of Minnesota River bottom land bordering 5000 acres of state forest.
This location is high on a ridge over looking the Minnesota River and City of Shakopee on the other side. Each July we make this savory, reddish colored honey exclusively at this one location. Some years its more nutty, this year it has a mocha like flavor.
This location is tucked back in an old growth forest on 120 acres of undeveloped wild land. Several 60 foot tall hundred year old Basswood aka Linden Trees are within view of the hives. The land is destined to be sold soon to Gale Woods the Three Rivers Park near Mound MN. I am glad it will be protected forever. I am unsure if we will be allowed to continue keeping bees in this magical place. The Basswood honey from this location is water white, fragrant with hints of mint and lime. After making this for 27 years, I have not really seen any other Basswood honey that compares to our "Big Woods" Minnesota Basswood.