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Our History

I grew up in a beekeeping family. Our lives were completely involved and revolved around beekeeping. We were migratory beekeepers keeping the bees in Nebraska in the summertime for the alfalfa and clover honey and the winter in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for the citrus honey. There were many beekeeping families in the Platte Valley of Nebraska. As a young boy I was in the local 4-H Beekeeping Club. I would collect honey from my hives, bottle it and enter it in the Dawson County Fair judging. Dad had a deal for my brothers and I during our teenage years. We would buy a few hives from Dad each year. From the sale of the honey we would have to buy all of our clothes and later our car and gas. My bees did very good in 1973 and I was able to buy a brand new car. Through the years each of my brothers bought bees from Dad and started their own operations. I went to work for Dad full time in 1974. I worked for him to 1982. I could not stay hitched working for Dad so I bought bees form Dad and moved to Franklin, North Carolina. I tried for three seasons to make my living there with sourwood honey. I had always had the desire of bottling honey and now was my time. We had always sold our honey in bulk to bottlers. Sourwood honey is a very localized honey and therefore no honey bottlers buy it in the bulk to bottle. I started bottling my sourwood honey and selling it to the apple houses and at the Asheville Farmer’s Market. I needed a name and label so the name “Makin’ Honey” become my company name and I drew the oak tree, hives and mountain label that I still use today. I left North Carolina because sourwood is not consistent producing honey. I moved to Whigham, Georgia for several years using the warm south Georgia springs to prepare my hives for shipping north to Nebraska or North Dakota. In about 1988 while my bees were in Nebraska for the summer, Georgia’s Dept. of Agriculture quarantined all states that had varroa mites. Being locked out of Georgia I moved my bee operation to Sopchoppy, Florida. I run my bees around Vero Beach for citrus honey and then to Orlando for gallberry. Some hives were placed along the Apalachicola River near Wewahitchka, Florida for tupelo honey. In 1992 the Chinese began importing honey to the United States at a price less then half of what was the usual price here. By 1994 I give up on the idea of keeping bees for my living. I moved to Cartersville, Georgia for my job and begin my cottage bee business. I now keep about 100 hives.

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