Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Baldwin beekeeper Dale Wolf has likely heard that honey is not just sweetener – it’s medicine. “Some of those other countries would think you were nuts if they saw you putting honey on your toast,” says Wolf, “you don’t waste that stuff over there. That’s medicine to them.”
Of course, that sweet, golden honey will always be a delicious commodity that makes Wolf Honey Farms a prosperous business in Baldwin. Now that the season has come to a close, Dale, accompanied by his son, Don Wolf and fellow beekeeper, Ken Wooley, have started the hard work of harvesting a season’s worth of honey.
“If all goes well, we should be able to get it done in about a week,” says Don Wolf. Don has been working with his dad in beekeeping since he was about 12 years old, according to Dale. “You know what they say about beekeepers right?” said Don, “We have the sweetest Job in the world.”
The process begins by collecting the honey combs made by the beehives throughout the season and sending them through a machine that removes the “caps” the bees create over the honeycomb. After that, the combs are placed in a centrifuge where they are spun quickly, forcing the honey out which then drains down into a collection tank below.
From there the honey takes on many different forms. Different honey is created from different flowers. Some is filtered and heated, while others are not, and some are as gold and familiar as store bought honey. But make no mistake, this is no “retail honey” according to Wooley.
“A lot of people that don’t like honey have never had raw honey before,” says Wooley, “they’ve had it from the store, and store honey gets processed so much that it really doesn’t even taste like real honey anymore.”
Visitors attending the second annual “Day in the Country” September 14 will get to taste some of that “real honey” and see some of the harvest process including how the honey is removed from the comb, extracted, and bottled. They will also learn a wealth of information about bees and honey, including the different products made from honey, beeswax, and propolis or “bee glue.”
Day in the Country will also host 65 Vines Winery, White Pine Berry Farm, and Maple Leaf Orchard. Each business will host a variety of activities and products at their locations for visitors to enjoy. Wolf Honey Farm will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will have information available for those interested in attending the other events.