The main Booger Hill Bee Company apiary is located north of Athens. The areas where our bees forage encompass a watershed that feeds the Broad and Oconee rivers. This basin contains rolling and steep hillsides, wetlands as well as river bottoms. Here is an enormous range of native trees, shrubs and other flowering plants. The diversity of blossoms provides a rich stream of nectar and pollens throughout the spring and fall. We maintain a number of bee outyards across the Georgia Piedmont. These outyards are located in places with names like Furnace Creek, Roger’s Mill, Wolf’s Branch and Mill Shoals. We limit their size to 10 to 15 hives. It is our belief that foraging competition between honey bee colonies as well as with native pollinators should be maintained at levels that encourage a thriving community of each. The biggest threat to our bees is the Varroa destructor, a small mite that has devastated much of the honey bee population world-wide. We use selected queen bees that have demonstrated levels of tolerance to this mite. We periodically check the mite populations in each of our hives. On those occasions that a colony requires treatment we use the naturally occurring compound thymol. Thymol is an extract from the herb thyme. This compound is effective. Unfortunately it is also labor intensive, which is why few commercial beekeepers use it. We are committed to teaching interested people the fundamentals of beekeeping. Our Beekeeping for Beginners Class is one avenue we’ve chosen to help beekeeping newcomers become successful beekeepers. The classes, consisting of seven modules, provide the background, practical training and hands on experience. This is a unique in-depth program that provides support and guidance that cover the entire annual cycle involved in the art of beekeeping and honey production. Respect for the honey bee and important work it does in our world, sharing timeless beekeeping skills, and the production of pure unprocessed wild flower honey is what we are all about. After working for thirty years in the medical equipment industry, I decided that it was time for a change. I’d spent my working career helping to boost the bottom line in several companies, large and small, and now I wanted to do something meaningful. Having a passion for plants, at age 50 I returned to school at the University of Georgia and began to work on a degree in horticulture. In the process, I took an elective ‘Bee Biology and Management’ taught by Keith Delaplane and was bitten by the bug…figuratively and literally.