Stroll over to Tubbs’ Berry Farm, and you may be surprised that it’s not just the smell of berries in the air getting your attention, but the homegrown honeybees that are busy at work to tantalize your tastes.
Tubbs’ Berry Farm is a homegrown operation that began growing “you pick” strawberries and raspberries. As their business grew, they experimented with two beehives and with great success have expanded to 25 hives. Being equipped and able to supply people with homegrown honey – which is free of pesticides, antibiotics or chemicals – has been a thriving business for Heidi and Kirk Tubb. They harvest the honey in September, and on a good year they are often able to get between 40-80 pounds.
Learning to harvest honey is a fascinating and yummy experience. Realizing that more and more people are interested in learning the process, the Tubbs are offering classes in the spring. “People order their bees and hive through us, and the first day the bees come in is when we start the workshop,” says Heidi.
The bee season begins in the spring and lasts throughout summer. During this time the queen bee is busy at work taking care of her baby bees and hatching eggs.
“The more mature bees are out gathering nectar and pollen and bringing it back to the hive. It’s a whole lot of organisms working as one organism,” Heidi explains. “All the bees have their different jobs inside the hive. They work for the good of the hive. All the workers are female. The workers take care of their queen; they direct her and tell her where to lay her eggs. If the queen isn’t doing her job, they will kick her out and raise up a new queen.”
Heidi says male bees are the ones to buy. “Male bees don’t have stingers while the female ones do,” she says. The Tubbs’ children have begun raising bees and maintaining their own hives. If involving your children with bees doesn’t sound like your ball of wax, then bring them out to explore the many animals roaming around the farm. Here you will find goats, turkeys, sheep, lamb and pygmy. The Tubbs would like their farm to be a safe environment to share their animals with the community and hope to add more in the future.
In the autumn, the public is invited to join in the Tubbs’ pumpkin patch, straw maze and more. You can even find the Tubbs selling their goods at the local Farmers Market when they aren’t in the middle of berry season. “You pick” raspberries are by appointment only, beginning in August and going until the first frost. In the meantime, stop by and check out the Tubbs’ store. There you will find flavored honey, homemade natural soaps, scrubs, lip balm, canning supplies and more. For additional information check out their webpage, http://www.tubbsberryfarm.com/ or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.