HONEY WITH A PURPOSE
HoneyRock Farm is a local family-owned apiary producing 100% pure, unpasteurized honey. Our liquid gold comes in several varieties reflecting our land and the seasonal changes in our local plant life.
HoneyRock Farm provides internships to young adults for the purpose of teaching basic job skills to help prepare young people for productive employment. Much of the proceeds of our efforts go to support our mission to Middle School and High School teens in Ithaca, NY. Through our outreach and support, we touch the lives of the youth of our community, helping them to understand that they are loved and they are valued.
THE KEEPERS - THE BEES - THE BLESSING
Bill & Sharon Hilker.
It's a Family Affair!
Bill and Sharon live in beautiful Ithaca, NY. They have two children who are both married, and six beautiful grandchildren. They feel incredibly blessed by God and want everyone to know of their love for our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Bill's mother and father, Bill Senior and Shirley Hilker also live in Ithaca, but they spend their winters in Florida where Bill Sr. tends the bees during the winter months. Bill and Sharon feel very blessed to spend so much time with their parents, whether it's beekeeping, working at I-Deal Self Storage (owned and operated by Bill Sr. and Shirley), or just hanging out at the patio.
There are many other wonderful people who help to make HoneyRock Farm a success. It is such a blessing to work together for the good of our community, just as the bees work together for the good of the hive.
Bees are Fascinating!
The Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, also referred to as the European Honey Bee, is thought to have originated primarily in Africa. There are approximately 50,000 bees in a colony. The queen bee can produce 1500 to 2000 eggs per day during a strong nectar flow. A strong hive can produce over 100 pounds of honey per year.
Bees are very important to our ecosystem. It is believed that the honeybee is responsible for fully one third of our food as one of our strongest pollinators.
Honeybee health is a major concern. The bees constantly face attacks from pesticides, fungicides, pests, and disease. It takes a very strong hive, and continual monitoring and care, to survive the many problems facing the honeybee. It is not unusual to lose several hives each year due to these problems.
We maintain approximately 100 hives. Every fall we take our bees to central Florida, where they spend the winter. While there, we work to build and strengthen our apiary so that we are ready for another year in Central New York. During the spring, the Orange Trees come into bloom, which really strengthens the bees, and produces some wonderful Orange Blossom Honey.
Blessing Ithaca's Youth
Although Espresso Self Teen Cafe is now closed, we enjoyed 10 years of blessing the youth of our community, financially supporting this work from honey sales at HoneyRock Farm.
The Ithaca Church of Christ began opening their doors to teens one day a week 10 years ago. We called it Espresso Self Teen Café, but the kids called it the coffeehouse. We didn't serve any coffee, but we did serve milkshakes, popcorn, and homemade goodies. Espresso Self was a safe place for teens to hang out one day a week.
Outreach leaders (Young Life) came in to hang out with the kids and earn the right to be heard as we worked together to be Christ's hands, feet, heart, and mouth to these young people, helping them build self-respect, and helping them to understand that they are loved and valued.
HoneyRock Farm continues to support Young Life in this mission as we transition our focus to provide internships to young adults for the purpose of teaching basic job skills to help prepare young people for productive employment.----->