City folks turned beekeepers are as busy as bees

WANTAGE. When asked how many times John has been stung, the beekeeper simply shrugged and said, “probably 500 times, it’s just part of the territory.”

30 Aug 2019 | 10:26

Beekeepers are Busy as Bees

When city folks John and Donna Coco received some medical advice to slow down and acquire a more peaceful lifestyle. The couple moved to the “country”, more specifically Highland Lakes and John became interested in beekeeping as a hobby. When the hobby became a passion and a business in 2016, the couple relocated and expanded their enterprise to a 10-acre farm in Wantage. The delightful farm named Top of the Mountain Honey Bee Farm is home to the Cocos, five pet dogs, several cats, rescued farm animals that were in jeopardy and roughly 42 million honey bees or 500 colonies.

According to John, honey bees can produce nine tons of honey per year. Amazingly, those bees must visit one million flowers to produce one pound of honey. John also said that honey bees have it way over bumble bees in the bee world. Honey bees are able to produce honey by the pound while bumble bees produce only ounces of honey.

Not only are Top of the Mountain bees busy, so are the Cocos especially during spring and summer when the raw honey must be collected and harvested for sale. In addition to wildflower, buckwheat and locust honey, Donna has developed flavor-infused honeys-blueberry, mixed berry, peach, cinnamon, lemon, orange, peppermint, raspberry, spearmint and seasonal pumpkin spice with more favors coming. Donna also developed gourmet cooking honeys like garlic and hot pepper. The flavored honeys are strictly top- secret recipes with Donna revealing absolutely nothing. The Cocos also carry their own line of honey lip balms, soap and face masks.

Cleverly, Donna thought of the farm’s logo: “From our comb to your home.”

Both Donna and John agree with a quotation from Albert Einstein: “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.”

The couple blames multi-million-dollar companies Monsanto and Bayer for the destruction of the honey bee population due to over use of pesticides.

When asked how many times John has been stung, the beekeeper simply shrugged and said, “probably 500 times, it’s just part of the territory.”

To purchase honey, visit the animal rescue or to see the benefits of raw honey, visit the website honeyforsale.net or call 973-764-1116.

Cleverly, Donna thought of the farm’s logo.

“From our comb to your home.”