Great Outdoors: Buzzing bees at Fox Honey Farm

DE PERE, Wis. - There's a buzz that echoes from box to box. It's a low hum from a number of bees so high, you almost need to see it to believe it.

"I would say maybe there's 500,000 bees right here," beekeeper Dan Svetleachni said.

Those hundreds of thousands of bees and dozens of hives make up the Fox Honey Farm.

"This is where we bring the bees in the summer time," Svetleachni said.

Here, Svetleachni knows his way around.

"When I graduated high school, I decided I'd go in full time, helping my dad, learning the business, and I've really enjoyed it," he said.

The learning curve can be steep, but the reward is as sweet as the final product.

"Until I really got my hands into it, I never really understood the whole process of how honey gets to my table," Svetleachni said. "I see it every day but I never knew the whole story behind it. It brings a greater appreciation when you know what goes all into it."

The bee's do an important job - pollinating the nearby fields. Many plants that we eat depend on this pollination. Others, like these alfalfa and clover plants, can be fed to cattle.

"It takes about 50,000 bees a week to make a pound of honey," Svetleachni said. "That's a lot of work for them to do."

A good colony will make between 50 and 100 pounds of honey in a year. But as they say - if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

"That's what they love to do - they go out there, they work it, they bring it back in the hive," Svetleachni said.

There honey is collected and stored inside the boxes set up across the field.

"Inside the boxes there's actually combs, vertical combs, where they store the honey, where larva is laid and bees hatch out," Svetleachni said.

Then, the honey combs are brought back to the honey house. Machine knives will cut off a layer of wax and allow the honey to flow out. Then, another machine will help get more honey through the combs. After that, there's no filtering.That'ss the honey they'll bottle and sell.

"That's about as pure as it gets right there," Svetleachni said.

It's a bottle of honey, pollinated from a plant, and made possible by tens of thousands of buzzing bees.

Print this article Back to Top