How your local beekeeper can keep you healthy

Recipes and food news from the Mill City Farmers Market

Ames Farm’s single-source honey
Ames Farm’s single-source honey is collected from individual flowers during their blooming, such as alfalfa honey, dandelion honey and buckwheat honey. Each have their own unique color and flavor. Submitted photo

Ames Farm honey products are in grocery stores, co-ops and gifts shops throughout Minneapolis and the metro, but did you know you can meet the owner and head beekeeper Brian Frederickson at the Mill City Farmers Market? Frederickson has over 25 years of experience at his apiary in Delano, Minnesota, and the Ames Farm table at the markets is full of items that promote year-round wellness.

Honey and its byproducts have many healthful properties and have been used for generations in cooking and medicine. Learn how you can incorporate nature’s sweet gift with local honey products.

1. Raw, single-source honey

The primary product of the bees and the beekeepers, raw honey has lots of antioxidants and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Ames Farm sells high-quality Minnesota wildflower honey that’s collected throughout the year. Frederickson also takes it a step further by selling single-source honey, collected from individual flowers during their blooming, such as alfalfa honey, dandelion honey and buckwheat honey. Each have their own unique color and flavor. 

Enjoy raw honey in a soothing tea, by the spoonful or as a substitute for processed sugar in baking or cooking (like in the recipe below).

2. Pollen

There are small amounts of pollen in raw honey, but for a concentrated boost of the delicate granules, consider buying raw pollen. In addition to turning it into honey, bees save small amounts of pollen for a protein source throughout the hive. Beekeepers extract small amounts of this excess pollen because it is a great source of protein and vitamins for humans too. Many people also consume local bee pollen to combat seasonal allergies.

Pollen has a mild flavor and can be added to tea or sprinkled on top of smoothies or cereals.

3. Beeswax lip balm, bars and candles

After extracting honey from the comb, the resulting byproduct is beeswax. The intricate comb structures created by the bees are cleaned and melted into wax. Frederickson and his team make the wax into his three-ingredient lip balm (beeswax, organic coconut oil and olive oil) and also have beeswax bars for making your own balms and salves. Beeswax has natural hydrating and soothing properties for itchy and dry winter skin. 

And let’s not forget hygge — cozy evenings with beeswax candles are a true comfort, supporting better mental health.

4. Honeycomb

For those who would prefer to keep honey in the comb, Ames Farm also offers fresh honeycomb at the market. Frederickson and his team steam clean the racks from the beehive and cut the comb off the frame for you to enjoy. Honeycomb has the same health benefits as raw honey, plus its chewy texture and indulgent taste make it a perfect natural satisfaction for your sweet tooth. 

For a special breakfast, slice fresh honeycomb thinly to top your toast and jam or try adding honeycomb to a cheese and fruit plate.

For more information about Ames Farm and the Mill City Farmers Market indoor winter markets, visit

Honey ricotta pancakes 

Recipe courtesy of Ames Farm • Makes four large pancakes


  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/3 cup flour 
  • 2 teaspoons honey 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Butter a heavy frying pan and fry large dollops of batter over medium heat. Turn cakes once small bubbles appear.

Serve pancakes with more honey, fresh fruit or even chopped lavender!