IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — You may have seen this eye-popping logo — a sci-fi bee — around town from Orbital Farms. They are a honey maker minutes from the center of Rochester, and provide honey to bars, restaurants, and businesses like Balsam Bagels across the Rochester area.
This local honey maker is a backyard business and gives a taste of Rochester with every spoonful. Their bees feed on wildflowers both in their backyard and all across Rochester.
Best friends. Earl Johnston and Michelle Biancha of Orbital Farms say this makes for a more complex flavor profile. Their bee journey stared six years at a weekend beekeeping class.
“I think somewhere in the middle of the second one, one of us leaned over to the other one and said ‘Are we going to get bees?” Johnston said. Soon after, they got their hives and bees, and managed to produce honey their first year.
While this year may be a rebuilding year for them, as Johnston says that they lost all of their bees in the winter, they are still set to make over 200 pounds of honey.
“So many tiny creatures made so much… 250 pounds of honey is about what I weigh… And you’ve seen bees, they’re tiny,” Johnston said.
For both of them, they enjoy the process. Biancha says that she thinks of the hives in “Nana’s backyard” like her secret garden, a place to be zen.
“Pouring that first jar of honey is, every year, never gets old,” she said. “Nothing tastes better than fresh honey right out of the comb.”
Besides making tasty honey, these thousands of bees that orbit the city of Rochester help our environment by pollinating the local flora, too.