Brookfield Farm is pleased to bring you Fireweed/Wildflower Honey from
Envirobee, Gig Harbor, Washington
The bees from Jerry Hominda’s hives on the southern slopes of Mt. Rainier, blend the delightfully light taste of Fireweed Honey with a hint of other wildflowers. The result is a to a delicate complex flavor that reflects the refreshing mountain air of the Northern Cascades.
Fireweed is a striking plant whose magenta petals sway on stalks that can rise from four to eight feet in hight.
In Washington’s Pacific Northwest fireweed can be found in a wide range of areas from low land streams to high mountain passes, but always in open areas. It draws its common name from its ability to colonize open acreas of land, especially after a fire (or logging operation).
Jerry’s Fireweed/Wildflower raw honey comes from a 300,000 acre area that is primarily fireweed. His bees share that area with feral honeybee colonies and native pollinators.
Jerry’s hives can be found in diverse west Washington locations, but his apiary, Envirobee, is based in Gig Harbor, on Puget Sound. All of his bees thrive in naturally treated, antibiotic-free hives.
These days Jerry runs about 150 hives, but in his more than 30 years of beekeeping he’s done time working the pollination circuit with his mentor who ran 2000 hives. They would travel to the California almonds and into the hard fruit crops of Eastern Washington.
Jerry enjoys the slightly slower pace. It allows him to mentor new beekeepers, and teach classes in the springtime in Washington. Winter often seems him in Central and South America where he helps train beekeepers.
He credits his own start to being mentored. “We had a big farm, and there was a local, there was a local beekeeper who put bees on farm…I was doing everything else on farm, the beekeeper left and I bought bees. For three years me and the bees suffered. You can’t learn bees on your own.” In the end Jerry met his mentor, learned better skills, then started working with him.
Jerry’s quick to point out that a beekeeper never stops learning. “I read a lot, and you just have to pay attention to your bees.”
His years of paying attention pay off. “I keep [the bees] really healthy. It’s managing them right. I don’t think the beekeeping’s challenging… Every bit of it’s enjoyable. It gets me and my dogs out. My bees are really friendly I get stung a couple of times a year. I love working bees”
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