Welcome to Windmill Farm!

FAQs

Where do our bees get their nectar?

Bees get nectar (carbohydrates) and pollen (protein) from flowers and trees. The times of the year when various plants bloom is "phenology". Dr. Roger Hoopingarner studied and published the phenology of southeast Michigan in the mid 50s.

POLLEN/NECTAR SOURCE & DATES

Soft maples 3/5 - 3/25

Willows 3/20 - 4/15

Dandelion 4/70 - 4/30

Hard maples 4/15 - 4/25

Sweet Cherry 4/15 - 5/5

Tart Cherry 4/15 - 5/10

Peach 4/18 - 5/5

Pear 4/19 - 5/4

Apple 4/23 - 5/25

Plum 4/23 - 5/7

Yellow Rocket 4/28 - 5/23

Blueberry 5/3 - 6-20

Bird's-foot Trefoil 5/23 - 6/25

Black Locust 5/23 - 6/5

Alfalfa 5/24 - 6/15

Alsike Clover 5/24 - 6/30

White Dutch Clover 5/24 - 6/20

Red Clover 5/24 - 6/20

Yellow Sweet Clover 5/26 - 6/20

Blackberry 6/2 - 6/18

Raspberry 6/3 - 6/20

White Sweet Clover 6/10 - 7/15

Milkweed 6/10 - 7/15

Basswood 6/20 - 7/5

Star Thistle 6/25 -7/31

Anise Hyssop 7/1 - 9/15

Catnip 7/1- 8/30

Buckwheat 7/5 - 8/10

Peppermint 7/15 - 8/30

Purple Loosestrife 7/15 - 8/31

Japanese Knotweed 7/25 - 8/29

Sunflower 8/1 - 8/30

Mountain Mint 8/1 - 9/30

Blue Globe Thistle 8/1 - 8/30

Alfalfa (2nd cut) 8/5 - 8/25

Goldenrods 8/25 - 9/30

Asters 9/10 - 10/30

This work was originally done by Roger Hoopinganrner, PhD, in about 1957 and republished by Roger Sutherland in SEMBA News, 4/2010.

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What is "RAW" honey?

Raw honey is honey that has not been heated or filtered. Processed honey is heated to around 140-180 degrees Fahrenheit and filtered with a filter that will remove particles smaller than 50 microns. This is done in order to make a pleasing clear product that won't crystallize on the grocer's shelf. The natural consequence of this heating and filtration is a change in the crystalline structure, and the removal of most of the pollen and enzymes that are felt to be nutritious and healthful. In the course of the season Windmill Hill Farm honey will crystallize. The honey is gently warmed to 120 degrees in order to change it from crystallized honey to liquid. It is then strained through a 200 micron bag allowing all of the pollen to pass (the maximum size of pollen grains is about 50 microns). The honey is then warmed to 120 degrees and bottled. The following background information on heating of honey is taken from a New Zeland company Airborne, http://www.airborne.co.nz/enzymes.shtml

The following background information on honey filtration is excerpted from the United States Department of Agriculture:

§52.1393 Styles. (a) Filtered. Filtered honey is honey of any type defined in these standards filtered to the extent that all or most of the fine particles, pollen grains, air bubbles, or other materials normally found in suspension, have been removed. (b) Strained. Strained honey is honey of any type defined in these standards that has been strained to the extent that most of the particles, including comb, propolis, or other defects normally found in honey, have been removed. Grains of pollen, small air bubbles, and very fine particles would not normally be removed. Reference: United States Standards for Grades of Extracted Honey, Effective date May 23, 1985, http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3011895

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What is Creamed, White, Crystallized Honey?

Creamed honey goes by many names including white, crystallized, spun, whipped, natural and raw. It is simply honey that has been forced to crystallize in a fast and controlled manner. Most but not all creamed honey is raw; liquid honey can be just as raw as creamed honey. The objective of "creaming the honey is to make the finished product smooth to the taste. This is done by adding seed (some already finely crystallized honey) to the larger batch of liquid honey. Then the honey is homogenized and cooled at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit which is the optimum temperature for crystallization. Creamed honey is the most common state of honey in most of the world (not the US).

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Why is our honey Kosher?

We pride ourselves in having the cleanest honey house in the state.  In addition to being licensed by the State, we felt one more certification of cleanliness couldn't hurt.  We're inspected periodically by Rabi Jason Miller of Kosher Michigan, inc to insure that we maintain the highest possible standards in our honey production.

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