Pure honey with Identity
From an outsider's perspective, like other forms of production, beehives don't appear to vary much from farm to farm.
But judging the quality of a product by superficial appearance alone is a mistake. The production of quality honey, while ultimately up to the bees, is dramatically impacted by the mentality of the beekeeper as well as the location.
At Lillklobb Permaculture, I partner with Stan Jas from Stanin Hani because his passion for raising bees with as little intervention as possible fits well with my farming practices as a whole. His strong focus on seasonality and the impact of place on all of the qualities of the honey match well with how I run the market gardens at Lillklobb.
Stan is a meticulous record keeper and is dedicated to not only his bees, but also to his partners and customers. We can be assured of the quality of the honey as it is verified, tested, and assured by leading laboratories as well as competitions around the globe. Stan can trace the honey back to its origin: to the hives as well as the time and date it was extracted.
The identity of the honey is assured, though perhaps more importantly, the professionalism and care with which Stan approaches beekeeping as a whole is perhaps the character we've come to know and love the most.
It is no secret that I approach farming first and foremost through dedication to the environment I am a part of. Permaculture design is deeply rooted in a respect for the ecosystem which sustains us and finding a beekeeper who is as committed to the environment as I am was very important.
The production of high quality seasonal honey is not the primary goal of Stan's enterprise at Lillklobb or elsewhere. As an agronomist himself, Stan is enthusiastic about the positive role that agriculture can play in sustaining both people and planet. At Lillklobb, the bees are an integral part of the agroecosystem. We have carefully chosen their location to provide the best possible niche for them. Healthy bees start with healthy locations and the fact that the bees continue to thrive and even recover in their modest apiary setting shows that Stan understands the nature of bees well.
When the hives are healthy, the bees need much less intervention from the beekeeper. Stan's bees mingle with wild and other honey bees from the neighborhood, so their being strong and healthy individuals means we are caring for the other insects around too.
While Lillklobb is still a young farm and the agroforestry systems that will rely upon good pollination are in their infancy or planning stage, the bees have settled in. I plant diverse flowering mixes not only for improved Soil Health, but also to keep the bees in clean forage as long as possible throughout the season. The bees also help us produce some of the highest quality zucchini in the area!
When it does come down to the honey, Stan is as committed as I am to reducing and eliminating waste. We always reach for reusable or recyclable materials to pack the honey in and offer the option of purchasing larger quantities to reduce packaging as well.
Working with Stan has taught me just how important beekeepers themselves are in the world of agriculture.
In Finland, bees are not trucked around to follow the harvest season as they are in North America and elsewhere. That means the bees find more or less permanent homes (ours stay the whole year round) where the hives are located. Stan visits his hives often, practicing the permaculture principles of "observe and interact" to determine if he needs to lend the bees a hand.
Stan also puts into play the permaculture principle of "stacking functions": when he visits, he often lets us, the farmers or land managers, know that he will be around. Our conversations are always meaningful and Stan shares important news and updates from other farmers during his rounds.
The beekeeper works to improve social connection between local farmers and Stan is an expert at this. Because each location has its own story and unique characteristics, he has an interest also in supporting the farmers in their daily struggles.
Personally I've come to value Stan's presence on the farm even more than his bees. To have someone networking between local farmers, promoting ecosystem health, regenerative agriculture practices, and producing the best honey around is invaluable.
Every location, every season, the bees produce a unique honey that will never be exactly the same again. Stan works with his partners to develop crop plans that benefit everyone. His bees not only aid in pollination and provide additional income through honey sales, but the bees also support the local ecosystem at large by pollinating everything in site.
It means as much to me as it does to Stan that he and his bees are not just bolted on to the agroecosystem, but that they are as much at home here as my own enterprises.
Award Winning Quality
It should come as no surprise that with such diligence, expertise, and sensitivity to the bee's needs that the honey produced by bees under Stan's care is of the highest quality.
Year in and year out, his bees make honey that win awards at every level: from local, Uusimaa taste testing competitions to meticulously analyzed, sampled, and tasted international honey competitions like the one last year in Belgium, Stan's bees reward good stewardship.
Such consistency in excellence means that you can trust each jar of honey to be the very best. With hives throughout Uusimaa, Stan is able to produce over ten different kinds of honey from a wide range of ecosystems and agroecosystems.
And while all of these honeys may not have won awards, the fingerprint of a master beekeeper is on each and every jar.
Where to Buy
If you are interested in Lillklobb's very own honey, you can buy straight from the farm during market days or by appointment.
Lillklobb's honey is also available through Uudenmaan ruoka's webshop at Ekompi.net where you can pick up through FoodHub pickup points in Espoo, Helsinki, and Vantaa.
The button below will take you directly to Stan's own page on the FoodHub!