Honey Fest attracted more than 50 people, young and not so young, to Crossroads at Big Creek Saturday for the Door County Reads finale. After a presentation from local beekeeper Max Martin, participants had the chance to make a beeswax candle and taste different varieties of honey.
Crossroads at Big Creek Director Coggin Heeringa (right) demonstrates how pollen gets stuck to bees for Trae Kluth (left) and his brother Andrew after Max Martin's beekeeping presentation at Honey Fest Saturday afternoon.
One young man had a lot of questions for Martin as he shared his knowledge and experiences with beekeeping. He seemed to know what he was talking about, so I just had to catch up with him after the presentation.
Collin Jepsen tries clover honey while his cousin, Xavier Jandrin, looks on at the honey tasting station. More than 50 people attended Honey Fest to learn about bees, honey and beekeeping Saturday.
It all began a few years ago with a bee magazine and an 11-year-old with a love for insects. Collin Jepsen gave his dad the magazine as a gift. As Collin and his dad Wade read about the bees they found themselves wanting to know more and more about beekeeping.
About a year ago, armed with what they’d learned in the class and their copy of “Beekeeping for Dummies”, they decided to buy a hive and try it out for themselves at their home in Wrightstown. Wade says one piece of advice the book repeats over and over again is to use a smoker to calm the bees while maintaining the hive. But Collin, with his love for the insects, thought that was mean so they decided to try it without, which worked out at first. Once it came time to take the honey, however, that changed.
With that experience behind him, Collin persevered and got to taste sweet success at the end of last summer – 28.5 sweet pounds of success, that is. Wade says they’ve given away some to family and friends and enjoy it at their house too. As far as selling their product, Wade says that’s up to Collin and he seems content with what they have for now.
Wade and Collin Jepsen are quite proud of how much they've learned about bees and beekeeping over the past year. 11-year-old Collin kept local beekeeper Max Martin on his toes by asking a lot of questions during Martin's presentation.