Kelly Knapp of Miss Bee Haven Honey
We are excited to offer honey from Kelly Knapp’s Miss Bee Haven as an add-on to our CSA. Kelly started beekeeping about 11 years ago. She’d always had an interest in bees and when she found a woman in her local area to teach her the art of keeping happy and healthy hives, she dove into the opportunity. When we say dove, we mean it, she started with 18 hives!
In the early years of beekeeping her family likened her to a bee herself, buzzing around tending and populating so many hives, while immersed in learning how to manage them.
Kelly works hard to manage her hives as naturally as she can. Most beekeepers use plastic frames in their hives with preformed hexagons. The bees will lay their wax inside of these forms but the bees are just following a predetermined structure within the preformed frames. Kelly likes to leave every other frame in her hives blank so that the bees create their own foundations entirely out of wax, building and drawing out the hexagons their own way, as they would in nature. From these bee built frames, she harvests the whole comb which is sold in it’s entirety.
They honey from Miss Bee Haven is all hand harvested and bottled. Kelly doesn’t use spinners that are mechanisms which spin all the honey out of the frames into a bucket. She prefers to use a wooden spoon to scrape the honey off the frame and into a colander which drips down into a bucket, after which it is bottled into jars.
Hand harvesting allows Kelly to learn a lot about the honey she is harvesting. She can see the texture, color, thickness and smell of each hive she harvests. In this way, she began to appreciate single varieties of honey and their characteristics. In doing so, she sells only varietal honeys that aren’t mixed. She bottles starthistle and cherry orchard/wildflower, each with their own unique flavor profile and appearance.
Kelly’s honey is raw, meaning it is never heated, keeping all the enzymes in tact. Unheated honey will crystalize over time, especially in cooler weather.
Today, Kelly manages 100 hives and we are excited that she will be establishing some at Frog Hollow this spring! We encourage you to try some Miss Bee Haven honey. It is very tasty (and makes a lovely gift). You’ll find Kelly’s honey in the pantry section of the add-ons shop.