A week ago, we attended the Dancing Crane Honey Farm open house at the home of husband-and-wife owners Dr. John Piette and Joanne Kimata. John grew up helping his Uncle Joe in Wisconsin keep bees. In 2003, he and Joanne founded Dancing Crane. Their bees feast on clover, goldenrod, and wildflowers just outside of Ann Arbor. Their honey is raw, unfiltered, and cold-processed. And it's really, really good...
The hives are in Salem Township northeast of Ann Arbor, a short drive from the family’s home near Packard Street and Stone School Road. In white jumpsuits with screened hoods over their faces, Piette and Kimata resemble astronauts as they check a hive looking for a queen bee—or eggs, which would indicate that a queen lives there. No sign. They drive a short distance to another site to get a queen being held on reserve. “It’s like having queen bee insurance,” explains Kimata. “If something goes wrong, we have a queen available.” Piette describes her as “a lady in waiting.”