Hailey Fey: Beekeeper and Farmer


courtesy of Hailey Fey

Hailey Fey beekeeping at her own farm.

Simon Tessmer-Tuck, staff writer

Beekeeper, farmer, and Edina High School junior Hailey Fey has always had a taste for the outdoors. Her passion sprouted from a young age when she was introduced to her family’s farm and bees.

The Fey family farm has seven hives and produces around 95 pounds of honey a year. Fey loves harvesting honey for a select few friends and family. “My favorite part of the honey process is definitely putting it in mason jars, seeing how many you’re able to fill. It’s such a rewarding process,” Fey said.Collecting honey is a rigorous job. First, the Feys set up the smoker and smoke the bees, which does not hurt them at all. Next, they check for honey and take off the honey supers, where the honey is stored, but they must ensure there are no bees attached, or else the entire hive will follow. After this, they use a heated knife to take off the wax caps, that hide and protect the honey, at their home. They use a honey extractor to safely get the honey out of the combs so the bees can reuse them. This spins and uses centrifugal force to draw it out. The honey will then drain through two filters and be placed into mason jars to be distributed. 

Fey and her family have to be very careful during the honey harvesting process. “We usually don’t wear the suits; we usually just wear the hats,” Fey said. The bees do not attack unless threatened. “You just have to move really slowly. If you move too fast, they’ll see you as a threat.”

Along with honey, the Fey family also grows food, including corn, pumpkins, beets, potatoes, cucumbers, and squash. “Just this weekend we harvested 600 pumpkins,” Fey said. The majority of their food is donated to the Southern Anoka community assistance food shelf. It is then redistributed to other families, supporting around 30 people altogether. Fey helps her family plant and harvest the food almost completely by hand.