Opinion & Editorial

Bear Mountain Honey is a local agribusiness success story

Congratulations to the Creswell Chamber of Commerce winners for the year. For all persons and businesses, both those selected and others nominated are considered are worthy of the honors.
I wish to particularly focus on the agribusiness selection: Bear Mountain Honey Ltd. This organization, owned and operated by the Vander Sys family, is truly an example of a small business success.
Wendy and Nick, plus their uncle Kim, have been in business for five years. Actually, uncle Kim has been running the operation for 40 years previously. Presently, they have a large metal building on Bear Mountain Road housing the machinery necessary to extract honey from the hives and to separate the honey and wax.
Naturally, this all starts with the construction of the hives, dividers, screens and supers – all parts that are required for the bees to make their contribution.
Five hundred and seventy hives are presently placed on farms and orchards in California. In a couple of months the hives will be moved to Lane County to do their vital work to pollinate our food crops and make the honey and wax.
I have been told that honey is one food source that can be saved and will never spoil.
In their most productive year, Bear Mountain Honey produced 120 pounds of honey and 3.5 pounds of wax per hive. The honey collection takes place in July and August with the rest of the year spent extracting, rebuilding boxes (hives), separating honey from wax, putting it in containers and shipping to customers.
This is a labor-intensive occupation and they desire to hire local youths for part-time work.
Bear Mountain Honey has contracts with several local firms in Creswell and Eugene for their products.
I always thought I would enjoy beekeeping as a hobby; however, moving around the world wasn’t conductive to me getting involved.
Bees do such a wonderful job of pollinating crops that the agriculture business depends on bees and are glad to have the hives on their property.
I’m told that bees normally go no more than 1.5 miles from the hive. The queen bees are mostly purchased commercially, which assists in being certain to have an adequate supply and the right strain to start new hives, or replacement when a hive is failing.
”Busy as a bee” certainly says it all. There is really more to beekeeping than I realized.



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