This Old Farm offers RJ Honey on site in Colfax, and we are happy to say that we were the first retail business to sell their honey. The R stands for Richard and the J stands for Jeff. Richard and Jeff are neighbors and friends who got into bee keeping as a hobby and enjoyment, something they thought possible to do as they planned ahead towards retirement. RJ Honey began with one hive in 2007 after stopping at a booth at the Boone County Fair, where a man talked glowingly about his honey, suggesting they go to a bee school to see if they would be interested in keeping bees. Their love for beekeeping has been so great they have 80+ hives now. And they help many new hobbyist beekeepers get started and enjoy their new hobby!
Interestingly, honey is the only food produced by insects and eaten by humans. Honey bees do team work within their hive, doing 7-8 important jobs over the course of their short life of 6 weeks, in order to make the delicious, healthy honey that we love. Many are concerned about the decline in the honey bee population, because 1/3 to 1/2 of our food- fruits, vegetables, and nuts- are the result of the bees pollination. Without bees almonds would not grow in our country. Jeff said that the biggest issue is a parasite that was brought into our country in the 1990’s that kills honey bees. And although pesticides can be toxic to bees, the second main reason he sees as the cause for a decrease in honey bees is poor forage. Bees just don’t have much choice in what to eat, corn and soybeans being the main crops. Since modern agriculture changed, there is no longer a tree line between fields with trees and wildflowers for the bees or a field set aside for steers, cows, and other animals, with alfalfa and clover.
RJ Honey Bee School encourages others to keep bees for the joy of it, the delicious honey, and the positive effect that bees have on our natural world. Their raw honey has all the trace vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and pollen you want from raw, local honey. Honey purchased in a store has been heated to high temperatures, micro-filtered, and perhaps thinned with high fructose corn or rice syrup. This destroys all the potential health benefits of honey. But a taste test will show the difference: RJ Honey vs. Store Bought. People are all surprised at how much better RJ Honey is. You can taste the difference! When you come by This Old Farm to pick up your meat, make sure to get a bottle of RJ Honey in our retail store. Click here for recipes using their honey.