The Swope Family started keeping bees in 1975, this adventure started as a result of farming 150 acres of fruits and vegetables. We needed bees for pollination, thus started our adventures in beekeeping. After retiring from Penn State University at Mont Alto, we moved to southwestern Pennsylvania to be closer to our grandchildren and start farming all over again. We purchased a small farm that is in the hills of western Pennsylvania, in Washington county. The family farm is blessed to have a stream that flows through the property, where rainfall and spring water drain and flows into to Cross Creek lake. In 2017, we planted black raspberries and blueberries on the hillside and moved our bees from Franklin county to western Pennsylvania. We have black raspberries and blueberries for farmers markets and pick your own. Our pick your own operation will give the entire family a fun time in the country while enjoying the scenic beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Our oldest son, daughter-in-law and grand kids can be found helping around the farm doing such things as tending bees, mowing the fields, trimming and picking berries, bottling honey and of course helping at the farmers market. This is truly a small family farm.
We package our honey using minimum processing to maintain the flavor and quality of the honey that our loyal customers have come to count on. We bring 100% pure, raw, natural honey from the bees to you. The flavor and quality of honey depends on a number of key factors, including proper care and management of the bee colonies; the location of our bees in relation to the target nectar source; the timing of when the honey frames are removed from the hives; and the weather. We can control the first three factors, but the fourth is a wild card that produces many a sleepless night for us. When Mother Nature is in a good mood, the bees are happy too. Happy bees make bumper honey crops. But when the weather does not cooperate (too wet, too dry, too hot, too cold, etc.), then low yields are the result. Our honey is produced by bees that have been placed in an area with a high concentration of the intended floral source. The bees are left in this area for the length of the bloom where they will produce honey. To produce one pound of honey the bees must fly to 2 million flowers and travel over 50,000 miles.
We bottle and sell raw honey. It comes to you exactly as the bees made it. We do warm the honey slightly to facilitate bottling (not exceeding hive temperature), and we strain out bits of beeswax and miscellaneous bee parts. But you may still see a thin layer of foamy beeswax at the top of the bottle, or a few specks floating in your honey. These are edible and they attest to the natural goodness of our products. Over time, most raw honey varieties will crystallize. Certain honey types like such as clover, Japanese knotweed, goldenrod, and wildflower may sugar quickly. It is important to understand that honey crystallizing is a natural, physical change that is easily reversed by placing the honey jar in a pan of hot water until the sugar crystals dissolve. If there is a lot of crystallization, then you may need to repeat the process a few times.
We bring 100% pure, raw, natural honey from the bees to you. Never pasteurized or filtered.
Raw and unfiltered honey is a wonderful gift from nature. Many honey lovers also report that local, raw honey helps to treat seasonal allergies. Raw honey is loaded with beneficial enzymes, pollen, vitamins and minerals, which we preserve through minimal processing. Our all-natural, raw honey is about as close as you can get to reaching into a beehive and grabbing a handful of golden goodness.
We offer pick your own black raspberries and blueberries. The seasons vary year to year but usually run mid/late June through the end of July. We provide containers and all our rows are mowed and easy to pick from. It's a great time for the entire family. Be sure to call 724-507-6434 or check our Facebook page daily for picking days and hours, as they are constantly changing.
Things to know before visiting the farm:
Our picking days, hours and conditions are constantly changing.
Hats, sunscreen and water are recommended, it gets hot!
Closed toe shoes are required for picking.
Weather conditions and demand determine the supply of our berries.
We have black raspberries for both retail and pick your own. Our black raspberries are pruned and trellis trained for easy access for picking. The raspberry season is only about 3 weeks long, so be sure to hurry out and pick some before they are gone!
We have blueberries for both retail and pick your own. The blueberries are protected with fencing to keep the deer and birds out. We plant the best varieties of blueberries so they are loaded with flavor.