Louisiana honey bees claim the title of the state’s official insect and create a sweet-tasting amber treat at a north Louisiana farm. Hummer and Son supplies its Louisiana-made honey to farmers markets and grocery stores across the Bayou State.
Billy Hummer says his work with honeybees started decades ago as a fifth-grade 4-H Club project. Now, his farm near Bossier City produces 50,000 pounds of honey a year. While bees buzz around the white boxes, B-52 Air Force jets fly overhead on their way to nearby Barksdale Airforce Base.
harvesting Louisiana honey
The honey is harvested during the summer months. Each of the white stacked boxes of honeycombs will produce about 50 pounds of honey. Hummer and his crew put on protective jackets and head gear as they slowly lift the lid of each box and check the honey production. They prefer to work without gloves. Bee stings are part of the job. “Just like office workers getting paper cuts,” Hummer says. “It hurts when it happens but you get used to it.” “A good day,” is getting stung only 20 times he says. Hummer adds, “For us, a bad day would probably be 50 stings”.
the queen bee
Hummer pulls one of the honeycombs out of the box. You can clearly see the large black queen bee. The queen has a white circular number on her back. Each stack of boxes forms a bee colony with one queen.
The misunderstood honeybee
After working with bees since he was a youngster, Hummer believes the bee suffers from a little misunderstanding. “Honeybees in general are not aggressive,” he says. “If you see one or two flying around, they’re going to do their thing. They’re just out collecting food.” You can see yellow pollen clinging to the legs of the bees as they enter the boxes. While having a few bees flying around isn’t a problem, a swarm near your home could be trouble. If that happens, Hummer recommends you call a professional who can safely remove the bee colony without killing it.
honey sold in louisiana markets
The Hummer and Son brand of Louisiana honey is sold mostly within the state. Area farmers markets and some Louisiana grocery stores carry the product. “The honey we produce is more of an amber to light amber color, which is a more full flavor honey,” Hummer says.
Louisiana honey featured on tv
Hummer & Son Honey Farm is located at 287 Sligo Rd, Bossier City, LA. Phone (318) 742-3541. The farm store has various honey products for sale.