The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)


Connecticu­t apiaries abuzz making fresh honey

- By Joseph Tucci and Sarajane Sullivan

Apiaries around the Nutmeg State made this year’s World Bee Day a little bit sweeter.

World Bee Day, observed on May 20, was establishe­d to raise awareness of the importance of pollinator­s, such as bees, to the ecosystem and food security. According to the United Nations, “Bees are under threat. Present species extinction rates are 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal due to human impacts.”

“Nearly 90 percent of the world’s wild flowering plant species depend, entirely, or at least in part, on animal pollinatio­n, along with more than 75% of the world’s food crops and 35 percent of global agricultur­al land. Not only do pollinator­s contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversi­ty,” the United Nations’ website states.

One such food that pollinator­s create is honey, produced by bees. There are many beekeepers across the state ranging from hobbyists to profession­als, meaning there are plenty of options for Connecticu­t residents looking to access fresh and local honey. Some of the apiaries producing honey across the state:

Jones Apiaries

This Farmington apiary began as a wedding gift, according to the Jones Apiaries website. Tom and Becky Jones were gifted a beehive as a wedding present in 1972. By the year 2000, the couple had more than 200 hives. Since then, the Joneses have served in roles with the CT Beekeepers Associatio­n and the Eastern Apiculture Society of North America. Jones Apiaries sells beekeeping wares, including its own nucleus colonies. The website says colonies should be available beginning in May.

Full Bloom Apiaries

Full Bloom Apiaries in Franklin sells products at retail locations in Connecticu­t and Rhode Island where customers can buy the apiary’s honey varieties. The apiary was establishe­d in 2004 with 100 colonies, according to its website, and now runs with 500 honey production colonies and 400 nucleus colonies. Full Bloom also offers beeswax along with queens and nucleus colonies for

people looking to start their own apiaries.

Andrew’s Honey

Andrew’s Honey is an urban honey company started by Norwalk native Andrew Coté. Coté’s father, a Norwalk firefighte­r, kept honeybees in the family’s backyard in Silvermine and Coté helped to take care of the bees.

Now, he’s the founder of the New York City Beekeepers Associatio­n, the executive director of his family’s nonprofit Bees Without Borders and is known for his urban beekeeping work. Andrew’s Honey makes its honey from bees housed in urban rooftop apiaries. In New York City, the honey is sold at the Union Square Greenmarke­t, alongside the website’s online shop. The apiary also offers services like “bee wrangling,” swarm removal, commercial­s and urban honey tours.

Coté also continues to maintain beehives in Connecticu­t, according to Andrew’s Honey’s website.

Stonewall Apiary

According to its website, Stonewall Apiary has 350 colonies in Eastern Connecticu­t. The apiary sells honey, creamed honey, honeycomb, chunk honey and beeswax products like honey butter, candles, wood polish and hand salve. People interested in doing their own beekeeping can also purchase beekeeping equipment and take beekeeping classes at the apiary. Classes are offered in-person at the apiary or virtually, according to the website, with topics such as “getting started,” “the honeybee,” “pests and diseases” and “odds and ends.”

Monkey’s Pocket Apiary

This Fairfield apiary is a homegrown operation, run out of the home of two farmers. Their yard is dotted with colorful bee

boxes in hues of blue, orange and yellow. The apiary sells its honey in many sizes, including a 60pound pail, along with beeswax candles and hand-made bird houses. The apiary also offers consultati­ons, swarm removal and an adopt-a-hive service.

Brooksvale Apiary

A&Z Apiaries, which was founded in 1982, has over 200 colonies of honey bees in Windham, Tolland and New London counties in Connecticu­t, according to its website. It offers its honey to both retail and wholesale customers.

Mark’s Apiary

This apiary, establishe­d in 1963, makes honey and candles. Customers can ship the apiary half-pound glass jars to fill with honey, according to its Facebook page. It also sells its honey at local farmstands like Killam & Bassette Farmstead in South Glastonbur­y.

Mr Bee

Mr Bee is a small beekeeping business located in Monroe that sells beekeeping equipment, honey and live bees, according to its website.

Ray’s Raw Honey

Ray’s Raw Honey farm sells the raw honey it produces with its bees, according to its Facebook page.

Cedar Lane Apiaries

Cedar Lane Apiaries aims to help others succeed at beekeeping, according to its Facebook page. It sells beekeeping supplies like live bees, hives, gloves and ventilated hats. It also sells bee products like honey and candles.

Old House Apiary

Buddha’s Bees Honey produces different kinds of flavored honey, including ginger, cinnamon and hot pepper, according to its website. It stocks its products in various stores and farmers’ markets across the state.

Langford Apiary

Langford Apiary was started by hobbyist Kirk Hlavaty, who wrote that he learned his beekeeping skills from YouTube. The apiary sells honey, wax and candles.

Morell Apiaries

Morell Apiaries is a familyowne­d business that focuses on producing honey and soap, according to its Facebook page.

It wholesales its products to businesses across the state, according to its website.

Pappy’s Bees

Pappy’s Bees is owned by John Huhn, who has been keeping bees for over 10 years, according to the website. The business sells various kinds of honey, including cinnamon creamed.

Cove Honey

This family owned farm, managed by Donald Cox, his wife and his young daughters, sells fresh honey seasonally, according to its website.

Rose Haven Honey

Honey from this small family owned apiary is currently being sold at Somers’ Colonial Flower Shop, according to its website.

Blueberry Woods Farm

This farm produces honey and beeswax using Italian and Russian honey bees, according to its website. It sells its products both online and at the farm.

Yellow House Honey

This apiary was started in 2016 by Lauren Doninger, who is a lifelong gardener. It sells different kinds of honey like pure, raw and creamed, however, it is sold out until this summer, according to its website.

Union Bee Company

The Union Bee Company maintains over 30 hives and sells its honey, beeswax and live bees locally, according to its website.

Forgotten Acres Farm

Forgotten Acres Farm produces honey and other products with its 17 beehives, according to its website. It also offers jellies and jams, depending on the season.

 ?? Contribute­d photo ?? Stonewall Apiary has 350 colonies in Eastern Connecticu­t and sells honey, creamed honey, honeycomb, chunk honey and beeswax products like honey butter, candles and hand salve.
Contribute­d photo Stonewall Apiary has 350 colonies in Eastern Connecticu­t and sells honey, creamed honey, honeycomb, chunk honey and beeswax products like honey butter, candles and hand salve.
 ?? Getty Images ?? Honey bee collecting pollen.
Getty Images Honey bee collecting pollen.

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