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Local beekeeper says beekeeping is "fascinating"

Posted: Tue, Mar 10, 2020 1:47 PM

The Lennon Honey Farm in Spillville has been in operation since 2014.  Jessica Lennon says she has learned so much from keeping bees.

Lennon spoke Tuesday to the Decorah Rotary Club, telling members beekeeping is good for the environment.  She says the toughest part is trying to make sure the bee colonies survive the winter.  Lennon Honey Farm wraps their beehives as winter arrives, giving the bees a place to spend the winter--they are awake throughout the cold.  Jessica says the bees survive on the honey left in the beehive, as well as sometimes receiving a pouring of sugar into the hives to help.

Winter is not the only hurdle, however.  Pesticides are always a concern, as are mites and other diseases.  Several hives on her farm were destroyed in the 2016 flooding as well.

But when everything goes well, the honey that is produced is nothing like the honey for sale in big superstores, says Lennon.  Its taste can vary, depending on whether the beehive is near clover or flowers or other sources of food--the honey takes on the taste of the surroundings.

And, while she has been stung several times, Jessica says "honeybees are super gentle."  If you stay calm, the honeybees will even come land on your arm.

Honey from the Lennon Honey Farm is available through their Facebook page,