Beekeeper Luke Frey began the tradition of caring for honeybees on the Frey Ranch over 25 years ago. Marie, Molly and Katrina, and helpers Dan and Johnny, entered the scene in 2007. Today we have eight colonies on our ranch. We practice holistic organic beekeeping, which emphasizes the needs of the bees, not the beekeepers. In response to the stresses and illnesses that are inflicting bees worldwide, we provide clean, well-ventilated homes for the colonies. We avoid the use of all chemicals, and always leave plenty of honey for the bees before harvesting any for the humans, which makes the Frey Ranch a true sanctuary for the precious honeybees.
Grape flowers are not attractive to bees and they don't require bee pollination to set fruit. But there are a wide variety of other plants to offer their pollen and nectar to the bees on our 900 acres of adjacent wild lands. Following the spring forage of wild manzanita, willow, and blackberry, our bees visit the biodynamic and organic gardens scattered about the property. Irrigated crops of vegetables, sunflowers, and flowering perennials provide summertime sustenance. In the fall, the bees love to visit the winery where they feast on the organic grapes being hauled in for winemaking. In late October and November our abundant stands of native coyote bush, (Baccharis pilularis), offer an important last source of pollen and nectar for the bees before they settle down for the winter. We observe and honor the natural cycles of the honeybees, and celebrate the biodiversity and harmony we strive for on our biodynamic farm. For the latest, please visit our Bee Blog.