In 1963, Harold Risse became a part of the Marsden family and brought some beehive equipment for a 4-H project for my brother Dan and I. We started with 6 packages of bees and started them in those beehives. We must have extracted a couple hundred pounds of honey with a little hand cranked extractor. Soon we were selling honey at the end of the drive along with the sweetcorn and strawberries..
About a year later Dan got other ideas and gave up on the bees. So I took on the job of taking care of 7or 8 hives. By the next year I had 12 and the next 27 hives. They helped pay my way through high school and college with the help of some good tobacco harvests.
Fifty years later I am still going to markets and selling local honey. The honey is still extracted in small batches that retain the individual floral flavors.
I move my bees around to pollinate orchards in the spring and garden crops for farmers and get a nice variety of honeys. Spring flows of Russian olive, dandelion, locust , and clover honey are followed by basswood (linden), bergamot, goldenrod, smartweed and other wild flower honeys.
I pack raw honey in glass jars, plastic squeese jars and honey bears. I also mix up some creamed (spun) honey and fresh comb honey is available in July and the rest of the season and I also mix up some creamed (spun) honey. Beeswax candles are poured in molds for the market as well. In winter we sell indoors about half the days that are available at the Dane County Farmer's Market.