“There’s a greater appreciation these days of raw honey, propolis, pollen, and all of the herbs and medicinal plants that we work with, which is very encouraging,” says Todd Hardie, owner of Honey Garden Apiaries.
Beyond its raw honey production, Hardie’s company also sells a line of therapeutic health and beauty products. A propolis-based spray treats sore throats, the goldenrod honey facial mask nourishes the skin, and Honey Garden Apiaries' honey wild cherry syrup is useful as a respiratory relaxant, anti-inflammatory agent, and cough suppressant.
In addition, Honey Garden Apiaries is working on a number of long-term projects to make the bee-keeping operation even more sustainable. Hardie says his company recently began repopulating the countryside near his honey gardens with organically grown native elderberry plants (on which the bees can feast) to keep the honey as organic as possible.
Future plans include development of an onsite biodiesel (fuel made from vegetable oil) production facility to cut emissions on Honey Garden Apiaries' diesel vehicles, saving fossil fuels and clearing the air.