Barkstroms favor golden honey flavor
2002-26-09 - - http://www.phillipswi.com/
It seems appropriate that September is National Honey Month. The sweet golden product is harvested during the late summer and early fall. Honeybees, responsible for pollinating many of the fruit and grain crops, produce the honey that many people enjoy consuming.
Phillips area residents Alan and Diane Barkstrom have been interested in beekeeping for some time. It wasn't until they observed beekeeping close up during a retirement trip to Texas that they decided to try to raise bees in the Northwoods.
"Beekeeping fits in well with some of the other things we do," said Diane."Since moving back to the Phillips area several years ago, we've had more time to manage the land settled by Alan's grandparents, raise Christmas trees, plant fruit trees, tap maple trees and make syrup.
The Barkstroms took UW-Extension Master Gardener classes and Diane applied her knowledge to raise many varieties of chemical-free flowers whose nectar would appeal especially to bees. Although Diane became interested in beekeeping before Alan, it was he who first talked to many people, including Prentice resident Mike Spagnolo, who served as a mentor.
"We had to learn bee biology, about the importance of the queen bee who can live for up to five years and whose only job is to lay eggs," Diane said. "It is the female worker bees who have a life span of about six weeks that do all the work in the hive. The work of the male bees, the drones who live for a season, is to mate with the queen. Honeybees are very hygienic and they clean out the hive so it is always renewing."
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