My husband, Justin, always had an interest in honey bees. He had several wild hives on his family’s land and always had an interest when we were younger. In 2015, he purchased 3 renowned beekeeping books and our adventure began.
Any books or articles we could get our hands, on we read. Any seminars or online schools we could attend, we were there. In 2016 we met our mentor and started shadowing his work. In 2017, we were on our own working our first two colonies which quickly turned into 9 and today over 60. Our mentor, now retired, has graciously given us his operation. We still look to him for leadership as he ultimately “calls the shots” in his business. Beekeepers keep bees all the way to the end and we never want him to not be a part of what he has helped us to become.
Honey harvesting is a long very detail oriented job and it takes an entire year before bees will produce enough honey for us to harvest. Honey bees do not collect nectar and turn it into honey for us - it is actually their food source. It is crucial for the beekeeper to know exactly how much to take each year as to not harm the colony. We harvest a few times a year but our largest harvest is in July every year.
Along the adventure, we have taken many mini adventures and now offer pollination services to local farmers in the TN Valley to help produce more bountiful crops through honey bee pollination. We offer mentoring to those who wish to learn beekeeping as well. We love for anyone to come out with us and learn a little about the bees.
As a local maker, what does it mean to you to be part of a flourishing community in Huntsville?
It keeps local producers (in my case) in the spotlight of the community. We don’t necessarily have a store front or funds for large scale advertising and this makes that readily available. It brings makers into the spotlight with features and more easily accessible products. This helps these businesses grow.
Huntsville is such a melting pot of culture and ethnicity. We love the genuine appreciation we receive for our honey and the work we do from all walks of life. The honey bee is a phenomenal creature and from all corners of the world everyone understands its value to our life. It’s great to share conversation with others, and because Huntsville is so large, we meet so many people at markets and events we attend.