A bit ago Bench’s Bees & Honey were featured in a piece by the Toledo Blade about local apiaries. We got to show off our mad beekeeping skills and model our fetching bee suits as you see below.
“Arik Bench of Bench’s Bees and Honey at 231 S. Decant Rd. in Curtice spent 20 years as a tool and die maker, helping out at his family members’ farms as needed but not farming full-time. His parents, David and Cindy, own Bench Farms at 9151 Jerusalem Rd. in Curtice; his brother Kurt and sister-in-law Corinna own Shared Legacy Farms in Elmore.
Three years ago, Mr. Bench and a friend took the initial steps toward beekeeping. But it was only this year that he and his wife, Beth, decided that it was time to “make a run with the honey,” he said.
Mr. Bench learned a tremendous amount and also acquired equipment from Lyle Keller of Arcadia, a local expert who has kept bees for 40 years. Now Bench’s Bees has nearly 60 hives split between two nearby locations, one near a lake.
Beekeeping started as a hobby, and “this is our first year selling” the honey that their bees have produced, he said. It is available both at his parents’ farm stand and at their table at the Perrysburg Farmers’ Market, which continues until Oct. 13.
Bench’s Bees has Russian bees and also Italian ones, which are less hardy but “better honey producers.” Mrs. Bench said that some people will insulate their apiaries with wraps for the winter. Instead, she and her husband “wanted locations protected from the north and the east, especially,” she said, to help as a buffer against the weather.
Arik Bench said bees need to be able to get outside, even in the winter. They exercise and they also need to be able to find water.
As for the honey their bees have produced, “we don’t pasteurize or anything,” he said. “We run it through a 200 micron filter, then a 400 micron filter, and that’s it.”
“I like doing the all-natural stuff,” Mr. Bench said.”
Click here to read on about our fellow Toledo Area beekeepers!
Thank you so much to | BLADE FOOD EDITOR