The Story of Huckleberry Hives
Hello! My name is Jodi and I am the beekeeper of Huckleberry Hives. The story of how I ended up here begins in early childhood, living in the countryside of Gadshill. I grew up here, watching my parents run Ellice Electric together as a husband-wife team and observing many of my aunts, uncles and grandparents running businesses too! Fast forward to early adulthood, and I began helping my brother at Nith Valley Apiaries between my years at University of Guelph. As customers asked me questions about honey and bees, I began researching so that I would know the answers next time. This lead me into the wonderful world of bees, and as I learned I grew more and more fascinated! I began working with the bees, not just the honey and honey consumers.
In 2017 I made the decision to begin my own small business! I now care for about 100 bee hives located in and around Perth County, Ontario. I produce honey, beeswax candles, and queens and nucs (nucleus bee colonies). I have several years of bee breeding under my belt via Ontario Resistant Honey Bee Selection (ORHBS) program testing each year since 2018. In addition to bee breeding, I've also learned how to collect pollen and make beeswax candles. At Apimondia 2019 in Montreal, I attended a workshop where I learned how to make propolis tinctures. As I continue to learn about ethically harvesting and preparing hive products I hope to expand my product line to include a variety of honey and hive products.
I continue to be inspired by my family, who are all running their own businesses and thus are great support people for my own little business! Our family's ventures include Ellice Electric and Nith Valley Apiaries as linked above. My older brother runs Roth Farm Service, and my younger sister runs Silver Creek Nursery. In recent years my mom has started her own quilting business, Momma Bear's Quilts - and yes, this is fully a shout-out to all of my family! After all, what would small businesses be without the support of the families behind the owners, and the communities who access their services?!
My longer-term mission with my own business is to develop educational initiatives to help my community interact with honey bees and the many native bee species in Ontario via tours, pollinator plant education & a bee therapy program. I saw a small piece of that come together in the summer of 2021 with the development of the Buzz About Bees experience!
Self-employment is both daunting and exhilarating for me. I hope that you will support my journey in whatever way you can, whether purchasing one of my products or sharing my business with someone you know. You can read a bit more about my business in a recent article here!
Stay buzzy and bee well!