Jun 26 2019

Neshanic Station Apiaries Creating a Buzz at Our Farmers’ Market

Learn more about Neshanic Station Apiaries, one of the newest farmers to join our market this year. Stop by its stand to check out its observation hive and to check out its fabulous line of products! 
Stop by the Neshanic Station Apiaries stand at our Farmers’ Market, and you’ll be amazed at the high-quality bee-related products available there.
The apiary offers a variety of raw cream honeys, handcrafted soaps, beeswax candles, bath balms and lip balm. And their product line keeps growing as co-owner Anna Farneski introduces new items like beeswax wraps made with pure beeswax and organic cotton.
You’ll also learn a lot about bees. Chat with Anna about them, and the discussion may touch upon history, environmental science, melittology, mythology, health, economics and philosophy.
“Next to human beings, bees are the most studied creatures in history because they are so critically important to our survival,” Anna said.
One thing that shines through is her respect and admiration for what bees achieve.
 “When I open up a box of bees I am completely transfixed by them,” she said. “They do such an amazing job against such incredible odds in increasingly hostile environments.”

The Neshanic Station Apiaries stand at our Farmers’ Market.

The challenges of operating an apiary have never been more daunting. As frequently reported during the past few years, bees are confronting an evolutionary crisis, disappearing due to a host of factors including pesticides and disease.
“People take it for granted, but bees are literally the canary in the coal mine,” Anna said. “(People) spray and pollute and don’t think about what they’re doing. Someday bees are going to pay the price — well, they are already paying the price.”
Bees are important natural pollinators, playing a key role in producing some of nature’s most nutritious and beloved foods including chocolate, coffee, fruits, vegetables, avocados and wine.
Anna, and apiary co-owner Jennifer Haby, work hard to keep their bees healthy and their colonies sustainable, closely monitoring them, and even scouting areas where their bees might travel for food to ensure they won’t be harmed. No easy feat, when you consider bees can travel up to three miles searching for food.
Keeping bees healthy isn’t Neshanic Station Apiaries only challenge.
The apiary takes honey from its bees only once a year – in July – to avoid stripping bees of their natural food source.
“I have about four weeks for our bees to make a honey crop, and if everything isn’t right for them, and they’re not perfectly taken care of and happy and healthy, then they are not going to make honey that I can take,” Anna said. “They’ll make honey for themselves but they won’t make honey for us to be able to put in our soaps and lotions and beeswax.”
Neshanic Station Apiaries is nestled in the charming Neshanic River Valley in Somerset County. They also have hives in Hunterdon County. The beekeepers are strong proponents of the local food movement. Their honey is 100% raw, which means it is not filtered or heated – guaranteeing that shopper get the full nutritional benefits that local honey has to offer. Nectar from more than a million flowers goes into each pound of honey.
What bees accomplish is truly remarkable. And, Anna believes that bees can offer us all a lesson worth heeding.
“If people were more like bees it would be a much better world because they are so committed to the greater good,” Anna said. “It’s not about the individual but about the welfare of the greater community. We could all learn a lot from them.”

Lemony beeswax lotion bars.

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