Riverside : Arugula
Our Riverside apiary is located on Stellmacher Farm along the Willamette River near Albany, OR. Bill Stellmacher grows grass seed, vegetable seed, and hazelnuts in the area but has been phasing out grass seed and planting more acreage of hazelnuts in the last few years with arugula and other vegetable seed often being a transitional crop.
Arugula (Eruca sativa) is a popular spicy salad green. This open-pollinated arugula crop was grown for Universal Seed and will be distributed widely across the country. Brassicas in general are good nectar source plants for honeybees, and this year, we got quite a good honey yield from the field.
This honey has a dark chocolate and tart, dried fig flavor.
Feagles Creek : Blackberry & Thistle
Our Feagles Creek apiary is in a cattle pasture near Harlan, OR. The farm, once homestead ground, is now passively managed by the Kessi family. While there’s plenty of grass for cows in the field, there’s also a lot of broadleaf plant diversity. The Kessis use goats to control weeds on other parts of the ranch, but this area is more remote with relatively large predator populations, making it unsafe for goat foraging ground. The surrounding hills are managed for timber production and wildlife habitat with both Coast Range conifers and hardwood trees.
Himalayan backberry (Rubus bifrons and Rubus vestitus) is a non-native, naturalized species that is widespread in the area. It fruits prolifically in the summer.
Canadian thistle (Cirsium arvense) is a common perennial weed in Western Oregon that persists in pastureland unless it’s sprayed. There are several effective biocontrol techniques for preventing the spread of Canadian thistle, but eradication has not been possible so far.
The Old Blue beehives kept in the Feagles Creek apiary are all queen breeder colonies. These treatment-free hives have been selected for multiple characteristics including disease resistance, wintering ability, and honey production. One of our main breeding lines, “Kessi”, originated from a feral honeybee colony thriving in this area.
This honey has a fresh melon taste with lingering pollen notes.
Ona Beach : Coastal Wildflower
Our Ona Beach apiary is on the east side of Highway 101 about two miles inland from Ona Beach State Park near Seal Rock, OR. It’s located along the North Beaver Creek drainage that flows into Beaver Creek State Natural Area, a great place for kayaking. The site is a tidal marsh of various rushes and sedges along with native and non-native flowering plants including lotus (Lotus corniculatus), water parsley (Oenanthe sarmentosa), smartweed (Polygonum sp.), and clover. The bees appreciate the site’s diversity of late-season pollen.
This honey is made from the nectar of late blooming flowers, and the color is darker than many of our main season varietals. We have a very limited supply of it, only about nine gallons. It has a mild, earthy tobacco and leather flavor.