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Why does someone become a beekeeper? In our case, it's because we love to garden. My wife, Chris, and I moved into our New Jersey home in 1996 and over the years we noticed fewer and fewer honey bees on our flowers and vegetables. During the summer of 2010, there were no honey bees at all. We have a friend who was a long time beekeeper and he suggested we help him manage his hives. After some discussion, and lots of research, we decided to give it a go. Soon, we transported an established colony to our backyard and the rest, as they say, is history.
We didn't collect much honey the first two years. What we did harvest, we mostly gave away to our friends. We grew our apiary each year, and added a few more bee yards to keep the bees. We sold our first bottles of honey at the Hightstown (NJ) Harvest Fair in October 2013! Boy, were we unprepared! We set up a couple of tables and brought a patio umbrella for shade. Now, we attend as many Spring, Summer, and Fall Festivals as we can. We managed about forty hives (give or take) and we had them placed in six different bee yards. Once we find a great location, we place the bees there and that becomes their home. The bees stay put. We do all the work traveling back and forth to them. That's why our bees are Happy Bees!
Now that we've moved to Virginia, we're continuing with our beekeeping and keeping our bees happy! We now have three apiaries in Virginia (two on Smith Mountain Lake, and one in Franklin County at Brooks Mill Winery), all ready to provide you with delicious, golden, local honey.
We manage all our bees ourselves. We harvest all our honey ourselves as well. It's minimally processed, all natural and raw, and brought to you as the bees intended! I love Happy Bees!
Our First Hive. August, 2010
Honey Bee and Native Mason Bee on Lotus Flower
Welcome to Happy Bees!
John has officially retired from his "real" job and we have relocated to Huddleston Virginia. We're pretty much settled in and have found a great location in Moneta on Smith Mountain Lake for our bees! We also have our bees at Brooks Mill Winery in Franklin County as well! And this year, we will have a new bee yard at Pine Ridge Road on Smith Mountain Lake!
We are now in the process of growing and expanding our bees. The bees at all of our beeyards will provide us with a great harvest of delicious honey this year. In addition to our Smith Mountain Lake and Brooks Mill honeys, we still have a supply of Pinelands Blend, New Jersey honey on hand, and will be able to ship it to you for some time to come.
We're also looking forward to seeing you at some festivals and events throughout the year. We've gotten most of our events posted on the Event page. Check back often as the schedule can change. Can't wait to get going on the next leg of our beekeeping adventure!
Stay Safe & Bee Well!
John & Chris
SHIPPING UPDATE: Unfortunately, we have had to increase our shipping charges. We don't make any money on shipping--we charge you what the Post Office charges us. They have eliminated the regional rates (what kept the shipping charges lower) and now we have to charge the "regular" priority rates. Even so, the Post Office rates are still lower than UPS and Fed Ex. We apologize for any inconvenience and are working to find another alternative.
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