WILLIAMSPORT, Ohio (Pickaway Cultivator) – If you’re able to find honey locally, the benefits it offers goes beyond adding a delicious flavor to our food and drinks. According to QueenandColony.com, local raw honey purchase in our area can help build up an immunity to our local pollen, help with colds, sicknesses, and even help with healing cuts and burns.
Locally, there is a variety of honey to choose from – a simple visit to the Pickaway County Visitors Bureau and Welcome center will give you an idea of what there is to choose from. One of the local honey farms happens to be located right in Williamsport, Ohio. A nice scenic drive will take you to a place that is nestled within a beautiful little farm landscape, a little place known as Honeyrun Farm.
Honeyrun Farm is owned by Isaac and Jayne Barnes, where they and their four children reside on five acres that has your traditional makings of a firm – such as pigs, cow, and at times, other animals that their children would show at the fair through 4-H. However, tucked in the corner of their property is a series of hives – a huge what makes their farm so unique.
Honeyrun Farms started out as a hobby in 2003 when Jayne came up with the idea to give Isaac beehives as a present.
“He [Isaac] ate so much honey, I couldn’t believe how much honey he ate,” Jayne explained, when asked their start. “He would just buy these five-pound jugs, and we’ll just go through them really fast. So, I got the idea that he might like beekeeping.”
Starting with two beehives, this allowed them to get a small start before things grew. Eventually, they were able to split the hives – which allowed them to continue growing what they were doing before Honeyrun Farm took off in 2011, allowing them to quit both of their jobs to focus on the honey farm full time. Since then, they haven’t looked back.
Jayne’s focus is on the marketing and the crafting of their products while Isaac is focused on the beekeeping. Jayne shared that she has always been a crafty person, and on top of offering honey she’s been able to create products that allow them to offer items such as soaps, salves, beeswax candles, lip balm, and more. They even sell the propolis – an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal substance bees gather from trees. Still, honey is their more sought after product.
On top of beekeeping, Isaac is also responsible for bee health, honey production, and working with landowners to have more locations to be able to place hives.
“We have to work with a lot of community, farmers, and just people that have maybe some set aside acres, so we can put our bees on their land in exchange for honey. It’s a partnership,” Jayne explained. “Because we only live on five acres right here, we really do value our community partners that let us put up to like 15 or 20 hives on their land.”
Altogether, Honeyrun Farm has 35 partnerships and around 700 beehives in the community. This allowed them to continue growing things slowly, which in return has allowed them time to expand what they’re able to offer with their business.
Bees are an essential part of the business and are essential to providing us with the rich, tasty treat of honey – but what many Americans don’t realize is that bees are not native to America. You can find that the origin of honeybees links to Southeast Asia, which prompted Jayne to share an important message about other pollinators.
“While everyone is focused on saving the honeybee, that’s great, we need to keep in mind there’s a lot of other pollinators like butterflies and other insects that are equally important. We have like an attachment and a kind of focus on honeybees because they also are industrious and give us something – sweet, delicious honey,” Jayne said.
When it comes to honey, a strong hive from their farm can produce 100 pounds in a year. What makes their honey so unique is the fact that unlike other farms, they pull their honey seasonal – which gives their honey a variety in color and flavor.
“Spring honey is very light, mild and delicate, summer honey is your more traditional wildflower honey, so it’s going to have lots of different flowers that it’s from and it’s just that really nice, sprightly spree sweet taste. You know it’s not too strong, but just a really nice, Amber honey. And then the fall honey is more robust, it has almost a butterscotch taste to it and that is from the goldenrod and asters that bloom in the fall,” Jayne explained about their different honey’s.
Honeyrun Farm is located at 9642 Randle Rd in Williamsport, Ohio. While not open for tours, guests are welcome to visit their honey stand and browse their products. This contactless stand allows guests to pick up what they need and drop their payment in the payment box. You can also order products to be shipped to your door by visiting honeyrunfarm.com.