A bee’s job is never done. They’ll do anything for their colony, and to the best of their ability. To be their best, they need a thriving work environment. Enter, an Adee Honey Farms beekeeper. We’re responsible for making our bees the best bees they can bee. Productive bees yield the highest quality golden, smooth and subtly sweet honey you all know and love.
Since bees never stop working. Being a beekeeper is a year-round job.
As winter turns to spring a beekeeper’s job begins. Bees are moved outside and treated for mites. Colonies that are deemed weak will be re-queened or combined with a stronger one. Most beekeepers order their bees online or from the store. With over 80,000 colonies of bees at Adee Honey Farms, ordering bees online isn’t an option. Our solution? Queening colony formation sites in Woodville, Mississippi; Vidalia, Louisiana and Newton, Texas. That’s where we raise our own queens to meet our production needs. Once we finish our process, we’ll ship them back to The Heart of Honey Country—just in time for Midwest honey season.
A beekeeper’s busiest days are in the summer. Production reaches its peak and there’s honey to be made. Adee keepers will spend their days taking care of the hives and adding and removing supers to collect honey. With such a big operation and hives spread across the upper Midwest, it takes all season to tend to every colony. But, by summer’s end, every hive is returned to our facilities in Bruce, SD and Roscoe, SD for the start of extracting season.
Late summer and early fall marks the beginning of extracting season for our beekeepers. During this time, our crew is busy harvesting the supers full of raw honey. Once the honey is extracted from the hives it’s stored in 55-gallon drums until it is either sold or bottled.
When the leaves start changing color it’s time to prepare for winter. We’ll begin this process by treating each colony for mites, and feeding them if needed. This is also another time for us to do a proper bee count because our hives are about to go on the trip of a lifetime.
At the end of fall, we load our hives onto 160 – 180 semis and ship them from the colder temperatures of South Dakota to the warm temperatures of Bakersfield, California. Here, colonies from all over will join to help pollinate almond trees for their next harvest. Each colony carries at least 20,000 bees and every single bee can pollinate enough blooms to produce 20 almonds. Altogether, there’s enough bees to contribute to the growth of over 900 billion almonds.
Once the almond pollination is complete the bees are shipped to the south for some much needed R&R time. It’s hard work for both our bees and beekeepers, but the end result is pretty darn sweet.