Monthly Archives: August 2021

Local Honey Harvest Season Begins

By: Samantha B

Updated: August 24, 2021 08:55 AM
Created: August 24, 2021 05:55 AM

Fall Honey Harvest — All Purpose Flour Child

(ABC 6 NEWS) – There is a lot of buzz happening around Rochester, millions of bees that have produced honey since April and now the honey is ready to be harvested. 

Tom Ownes took over Johnston Honey just 6 years ago from Don Johnston. This is their 24th season of harvesting season and it is huge. 

“It’s an ongoing yearly process,” said the Owner of Johnston Honey, Tom Owens. 

Owens gets started in April by placing his bees in their honey boxes to create honeycombs and throughout the summer they produce honey. 

“By the middle of August in that short time, they have produced about 120 pounds of honey per hive,” said Owens. 

Owens has eight farms in a 20-mile radius of Rochester. There is about 80 hives total. Over four days, they will harvest about 9,000 pounds of honey.

Owens and his team of workers start out by heating the honey boxes to make it easier to remove the honey from the honeycombs. They then decap the honeycomb to remove the wax and allow the honey to come out. 

Once the wax is decapped, 48 frames of honeycomb get placed into a machine that spins the honey out into a barrel. 

“It will take about 3 of these spins to produce about 600 pounds of honey,” said Owens. 

Once they finish harvest season, all of the barrels of honey go to their warehouse to be created into products. 

It’s not just jars of honey, it’s also candles and chapstick, but behind all of this these bees are helping keep Minnesota’s pollination going. 

“I’ve noticed a lot of improvement in how much food in that they have the prairie grassland which we try to focus on where our hives there is getting to be more of that so we are definitely helping that in Minnesota,” said Owens. 

There have been concerns over the past few years of the bee population declining and there has been legislation in Minnesota to try and help the problem. Owens said while his bees are fine, it is more about the wild bee population. 

“All of our food is dependent on the bee population so if that ever gets to the point to where that is down to where it isn’t we could be in some real big trouble,” said Owens. He added, “The food production would drastically decrease if the pollinators disappear.” 

Experts have said certain pesticides and not enough plants can be a part of the problem. 

Copyright 2021 – KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting CompanyLocal honey harvest season begins |

University of Minnesota Rochester honored for exceptional student support initiatives

Campus Map | University of Minnesota Rochester

Founded in 2000, Colleges of Distinction has advocated for schools whose undergraduate experiences are grounded in a philosophy of engagement, teaching, community, and outcomes. This philosophy has evolved over the last few years to inspire the team at Colleges of Distinction to create individual recognitions that focus on institutions’ specialized services for students.

University of Minnesota Rochester has received recognition in Career Development, Equity & Inclusion.

Career Development: Few questions are going to be on students’ minds more often than some version of “What am I going to do after graduation?” Conveniently, schools awarded the Career Development badge have shown that they are well equipped to help their students graduate with confidence. The badge recognizes schools with comprehensive four-year plans, advising, and more. University of Minnesota Rochester offers such resources as Student Success Coaches, internships, research opportunities and more, providing unparalleled support throughout every stage of career exploration, development, and application.

“The Career Development recognition goes beyond a job board and résumé writing,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer at Colleges of Distinction. “University of Minnesota Rochester has shown inventiveness in connecting with students throughout their academic careers and beyond. Students and graduates are fully supported by University of Minnesota Rochester’s outstanding services.”

Equity & Inclusion: University of Minnesota Rochester has distinguished itself as a community dedicated to equal opportunity for all students, faculty, and staff. As an Equity & Inclusion College of Distinction, University of Minnesota Rochester understands that inclusion is just as important as diversity, ensuring that all students are given equal opportunity to thrive academically, personally, and professionally. 

“University of Minnesota Rochester has created a welcoming environment for underserved students,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officers at Colleges of Distinction. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to highlight the noteworthy support offered for students who might not otherwise study and thrive on a college campus.”

To view University of Minnesota Rochester’s profile or to find more information about the services and experiences it offers, visit

About Colleges of Distinction
Since 2000, Colleges of Distinction has been committed to honoring schools throughout the U.S. for true excellence in higher education. The member schools within the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their dedicated focus on the undergraduate experience. Its website provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, and to learn how to become a College of Distinction, visit