By Bailey Loveless – May 17, 2023
“It’s all about the bees,” says Meg Depew of Sequim Bee Farm. It’s rainy when I arrive
at the Sequim Bee Farm owned by Meg and Buddy Depew. Meg and Buddy have been
beekeeping since 2014. Not only are they regular vendors at the market Saturdays, but
their honey has gone on to win several national awards.
Pairing the honey with the right tea, coffee, or sauce is a science and an art. Meg lines
up several types of honey for me to try. The colors of the different honey make a rich
ombre of light gold to deep amber. Each honey is completely different in flavor, unique
to the nectar of the plants the bees have collected. To get such unique flavors, Meg and
Buddy currently manage over 65 hives spread across Clallam County.
“You won’t use that with green tea, but it stands up nicely to coffee,” laughs Meg as I try
the Buckwheat, which has a robust molasses flavor. “I talk to people all the time about
what they’re using the honey for.”
The Meadowfoam Honey, with its creamy notes of vanilla and creme brulee, is a crowd
favorite. Meg says it's popular with kids, who often describe it as tasting like a
marshmallow. She likes to hand out honey sticks to the kids visiting the market and
remind customers to take good care of the bees.
“The farmers depend on them because they’re pollinating the crops that are being
grown,” says Meg.
Bees are a vital building block to our agricultural system. Reportedly, bees contribute
more than $14 billion dollars worth of value to the US agriculture industry yearly.
Pollination directly impacts the size of crop yields. This in turn affects the amount and
value of farm products available to consumers.
Given the rain outside and the unusually long, cold spring, we discuss the ill effects of
the weather on the bees. Meg recounts the high number of bee deaths last spring, with
its similar unusual weather patterns to this year. Prolonged winters that prevent bees
from leaving the hive are dangerous; the hive may not have enough winter food
reserves to sustain itself through the extended period of coldness. As climates continue
to rapidly change, it’s hard to predict how bee populations will adapt to survive new
Given the mutual dependence between bees and human food sources, Meg stresses
the importance of supporting pollinator populations in order to support our own.
“Bees are an integral part of the circle of life!” says Meg.
Protecting the bees is a community effort. But one doesn’t need to be a beekeeper in
order to help sustain bee populations. Meg recommends many measures that can be
taken in your own yard, such as diversifying the lawn, planting pollinator friendly plants,
and reducing pesticide and chemical usage. Dandelions are a particularly important
food source for bees in the early spring.
Meg also recommends that if you find a swarm on your property, call the non-
emergency line. Our local police force can connect you with local beekeepers like the
Support pollinator friendly business, and catch up with Sequim Bee Farm on Saturdays
at the Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market. Not only can you grab their award-winning
honey and get some pro honey pairing tips from Meg, but ask her about what you can
do to help save the bees!
This article appeared originally in the Sequim Gazette on March 17, 2023 – https://www.sequimgazette.com/business/whats-happerning-at-the-market-support-your-pollinators-as-cold-spring-stings-local-bees/