Kopp's Crops is a family-run business specializing in maple syrup, honey and fresh vegetables. We are located 45 miles north of Minneapolis in Bradford Township on our 65 acre farm.

*Now Selling at the Cambridge-Isanti Farmers Market!*

Local Orders: For pickup in Isanti, Cambridge, Brooklyn Park or Arden Hills, please email koppscrops@gmail.com or call 763-772-7057 to place your order and arrange payment & pickup. Available products are listed in the shopping cart below.

Outside the Twin Cities: Please use the online shopping cart below. USPS shipping charges will be calculated at checkout.

For questions, please email us at koppscrops@gmail.com


Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Littlest Livestock

We took a little after-dinner walk as a family last night, and discovered that we look at flowers differently now that we raise bees.  We used to just look for pretty flowers along the road.  Now we look for flowers that will make tasty and plentiful sources of nectar for our littlest livestock.  But all the nectar-rich flowers in the world don’t mean anything if we don’t have a bunch of worker bees out there collecting.  So the past month or so, we’ve been repopulating our hives - our "Littlest Livestock."  We’d sacrificed six of our colonies last fall so that the other four had enough food to make it through the winter.  It almost worked - three colonies survived.  And thanks to the mild winter, we didn’t have to give them any supplementary sugar water like we did last year – their stores of honey saw them through. 
Our new queens, in their little "Bee Kennels"
This spring, we bought four “bee packages” to start building back the six empty hives – each package contained three pounds of bees, mostly worker bees (they’re the ones with the little hardhats) & nurse bees (wearing comfortable shoes, of course), with one queen and a couple of drones thrown in to get the party started.  We had been hoping to split the three colonies that survived the winter to populate three additional hives and save on bee replacement costs, but they were weak with poor queens.  So we decided to replace all 3 queens.  We brought in younger, more productive queens who would lay more eggs to build the colonies back faster.  Thank goodness the queens can’t sue us for age discrimination!