After a short six-year career as a public school teacher, George and his wife Susan transformed a hobby beekeeping operation into a commercial endeavor. The business started from a few swarms and a collection of retrieved nuisance hives, but now runs 5000 + colonies in three states. Sons Matt and Joe are incrementally taking control of the business, as George moves towards an as yet undefined retirement. Although the name of the company never changed, the focus of the beekeeping is now primarily pollination service, with honey, wax and bee sales making up no more than 30 percent of gross revenues. George is an active member of the beekeeping community, promoting the industry’s interests as past president of the American Beekeeping Federation. For a decade he served as a producer representative on the National Honey Board. He continues to serve as a trustee on the Foundation for the Preservation of the Honey Bee, and on the board of the Bee Informed Partnership. Currently George represents the industry on the national Honey Bee Health Coalition. For twenty years, he has hosted an annual Bee Day workshop and orientation at the Foothills Honey Company home site.

 

Saturday Banquet: Getting a Few Things Off My Chest

I hope to outline some of the issues that I am involved with currently in my industry activities. Integrated Pest Management, Best Management Practices (BMPs), new Varroa controls, tank mixing agricultural chemicals, weed coatings, and pesticide warning labels are on the menu.