Who we are:
Nature's Houses Apiary is a family run business on the edge of the Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina.
Because of our fascination with honeybees and the alarming rate that colonies are dying, we have decided to grow our family hobby into a business that will not only provide honey for local markets, but will also allow us to increase the local bee population and help increase awareness of how important bees are for our local agriculture. We have had hives since 2012 and wish we had been able to start keeping them much earlier.
It is our goal for 2014 to increase the size of our apiary to at least 15 hives. This will enable us to produce approximately 600 to 900 pounds of honey, most of which will be sold in our local food markets and health food stores as raw honey. Filtering the honey will be the only processing that occurs. We will also be able to work with local apple orchards to provide bees for pollination of the fruit trees, as well as other crops.
A few bee facts:
Bees have been known to fly up to five miles or more from their hive when foraging. The average honey bee will produce about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey during its life, which is around 6 weeks.
How honey is collected:
Harvesting honey involves taking frames of capped honey from a hive, removing the caps, and placing the frame in an extractor. The extractor spins the frames causing the honey to come out of the individual cells and collect on the bottom of the extractor. The honey is then filtered to remove debris, bubbles, and particles of wax. The final step is to bottle the honey and take it to market.
Support levels range from $10 to $250 with those that donate receiving Thank You packages.
Risks and challenges
Honey production depends on many factors, such as weather, and the availability of nectar when the different flowers are blooming. Shipments will be made from the first harvest of the year, usually in the late spring, but in the event that there is a poor honey flow, it could be delayed until fall. If there are any delays, we provide updates and get your reward to you as soon as possible.
There is always demand for local raw honey, and local businesses are ready to put our product on the shelves. All we need to do is increase our ability to produce honey, by adding hives, to the point where the business is self-sustaining. With your help, we will be able to accomplish that this year. Thank you, and always remember to support your locally owned small businesses.
- (30 days)