Don’t Worry, Bee Happy

“The only reason for being a bee is to make honey. And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.”

Winnie the Pooh
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On a hot day in mid July, my family and I had the privilege of visiting Jennifer Rohr, owner of Primrose Secret Garden, at her home in Neuchâtel. Jennifer welcomed us in through a big front gate set in a long stone wall. Through the gates stood her beautiful home, a former orphanage, and a garden with gorgeous views of Lake Neuchâtel. Tucked away as it is, the name “Primrose Secret Garden” feels especially fitting. You really feel like you’ve stepped into a secret oasis within the city, flourishing with color.

As we walked through the gates, Jennifer introduced us to her two poodles, a flock of chickens, the softest bunnies I’ve ever touched, and of course – the bees. Amongst all the animals is a beautiful, well-kept garden full of flowers, vegetables, and berries.

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Let me explain how I ended up in such a beautiful place. I purchased two particular items from Primrose Secret Garden to add to my Postpartum Baskets. To go along with my “Date Night” tip for new parents I wanted to include a candle. I love that Jennifer not only makes her own candles, but makes them from wax from her very own apiary. To encourage some self care for new moms, I wanted to add a bath bomb. I tried the homemade one from Primrose Secret Garden and thought it was really relaxing and didn’t leave a messy/colorful ring on the bathtub. When I wrote to Jennifer to tell her that I really liked the items I purchased and told her about my plan to put together a basket for new moms, she was really supportive. She even invited me to come have a look at how and where it was all made. When our route home from a family camping trip took us past her house, I jumped at the opportunity and she agreed we could stop by.

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Originally from Canada, Jennifer and her family moved to Switzerland in 1998. In 2003 they moved into their current house and started transforming it into the luscious urban garden that it is today.

Jennifer has a real passion for what she does and it’s evident right away. She has an extraordinary knowledge about bees, honey, wax, and what goes into making good quality products while sustaining the health and growth of the bee colonies.

Jennifer is hoping to open her doors to field trips from daycares and schools so that the kids can learn firsthand how vegetables are grown, honey is harvested, and animals are cared for. Based on how Jennifer patiently explained everything to my 4- and 5- year olds, I can already heartily recommend a visit to her urban farm as soon as the opportunity arises. She showed us the kid-sized beekeeper suits she intends to use for such educational visits so that the kids can help smoke out the bees and get a close-up look at the apiaries while staying well-protected. Jennifer showed us what goes into harvesting the honey – from removing the caps from the honeycomb, spinning it in a special honey extractor, how she stores the honey and wax and what has to be considered at each step. We all got to try some honey fresh from the comb and my kids got some sticky propolis (or ‘bee glue’) to take home. Needless to say, we were all thoroughly impressed.

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Primrose Secret Garden sells a variety of items made on-site from products produced by her BioSuisse certified beehives and gardens. From honey, candles, and beeswax wraps to chutney, relish, and liqueurs, Jennifer offers a delightful selection of homemade organic goods. I’m using her urban honey candle and amazing bath bomb in my Postpartum Baskets. I also highly recommend her plum chutney paired with crackers and goat cheese. Mmm.

Jennifer’s online shop has a great selection of gifts and treats for yourself, but if you ever get a chance to catch her at a market, I highly recommend it–her knowledge is impressive and her passion is contagious.

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Christine is a babywearing consultant and parent educator who is passionate about helping new families get a good start by providing resources, tools, and practical tips. She lives in Zürich, Switzerland with her husband and three kids.

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