A very sweet story…

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Crystal Bock of Cedar Springs Farm, rural Nicollet, describes her beekeeping business to Harkin Store visitors Sunday. On Sunday, Aug. 26, historic photos and textbooks from the Robinson School, West Newton Township, are part of Old Schools Day at the site. The store will be open 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

HARKIN STORE — A rural Nicollet beekeeper says she can taste what her bees eat in the honey they produce.

“I can taste buckwheat in some of the honey my bees make. We don’t grow it on our land, but it must be nearby,” said Crystal Bock, of Cedar Springs Farms, rural Nicollet, who talked about her beekeeping at the Harkin Store Sunday.

Bock said she can taste basswood in the honey her bees produce because the hives are near Swan Lake, where basswood trees are common. In addition, she said different colors of honey mean different honey tastes.

Beekeepers or apiarists, keep bees to collect their honey and other products that bee hives produce including beeswax, propolis, flower pollen, and royal jelly, to pollinate crops or to produce bees to be sold to other beekeepers.

“So far, so good,” is how Bock described this summer’s honey crop. “A dry summer could mean a better honey crop. I think the bees were really bothered by all the rain we had in June. I haven’t pulled my honey yet, but I’m hoping for an average crop.”

Bock said she’ll be extracting honey soon, after the hot and humid weather goes away.

In addition, Bock said that come communities allow residents to keep bees in their backyards, often an attempt to revert to a less industrialized way to obtain honey using small-scale colonies that pollinate urban gardens.

Some homeowners use their landscapes to help feed local bee populations by planting flowers that provide nectar and pollen. An environment of year-round, uninterrupted bloom creates an ideal environment for colony reproduction.

Bock’s honey produced at Cedar Springs Farm, is sold at the Gaylord farmer’s market every Wednesday afternoon in the city parking lot at 5th and Main. It is also sold at the St. Peter Food Cooperative parking lot Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

On Sunday, Aug. 26, the Harkin Store will celebrate Old Schools Day with the history of old Nicollet County schoolhouses including historical photos and textbooks from the Robinson School in West Newton.

For more information, visit http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/harkin-store

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.