Photo courtesy of Honey Hive Farms

By Jakaria Ross | May 14, 2021

Tim Moore and his Honey Hive Farms hope to expand the awareness of his hobby and business of beekeeping and honey extraction by hosting honey tastings on Saturdays in May.

“I like to meet people,” Moore says. “Sometimes people buy stuff and sometimes they don’t.

“It’s not about the money. It’s nice when they buy and then they buy again. It’s nice that they liked it so much. I like when people tell me I’m their honey guy and they won’t buy it from anywhere else.”

Sharing homemade honey, naturally collected pollen and bees, the owners personally deliver to Arizona homes and seven other states. They offer three types of bees, including queen bees.

“We deliver bees to Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico,” Moore says. “We deliver honey to Missouri and Oklahoma about four times a year. We deliver to thousands of people a year.”

Moore says the personal delivery is important when it comes to handing off bees.

“When you get bees in the mail, they’re usually dead,” Moore says. “I’m one of the only avenues, and delivering in the heat is hard. If the bees get too hot, they die, so you have to be really careful.”

Honey Hives Farms offers raw honeys of different shades, as they do not mix with inexpensive products like rice syrup or sucrose, according to Moore.

“The honey is different colors because it’s different nectars from different plants,” Moore says. “The nectar that the bees bring back are different colors. There are orange blossom, mesquite, cat’s claw and wildflower. … The older honey gets, the darker it gets.”

Serving all-natural honey is a very important trait to Honey Hive Farms, according to Moore.

“What separates us from other people selling honey, oddly enough, I bet 85% of other people, and I can’t say for sure, don’t even have bees,” Moore says. “If you’re buying honey, ask them, ‘Does this come from bees?’”

The farm also sells pollen to help customers with allergies to plants and nectar.

“The wildflower honey and the pollen are for your allergies,” Moore says. “If you take what you’re allergic to, it builds up your tolerance to what’s in the air and it helps. I thought it was a joke, but I talk to people every week and it helps a lot.”

Bee stings are the most common insect allergy that can cause life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, according to the Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute.

“I’m not allergic, or I’d be dead already,” Moore says. “I’ve got stung a lot in the past, but it doesn’t bother me too much. They usually don’t really bother you until you disturb them. If you open their hive, it’s on. Noise sets them off, and if you’re bothering them in some way, they will sting.”

As a master beekeeper, Tim’s wife and company co-owner, Connie, teaches classes on the farm, where individuals wear full bee suits with a hat and veil and learn the basics of beekeeping.

“It’s one thing to sell a product; it’s another to be there to support it,” she says. “The classes support educating people and hobbyists in general. We like to have them be successful. In beekeeping, it’s an overload of information. There’s so much out there, but it’s hard to decipher what’s appropriate per your area.”

The business chooses to artificially inseminate their queen bees to avoid “defensive genes.”

“I don’t let queen bees mate naturally here,” Moore says. “When a queen hatches as an adult, she has to find male drones to mate. We have some honeybees that have this Africanized gene that makes them defensive. I don’t want this for my bees. If you have those defensive bees, they will come at you when you open the hives.”

Ants and mites serve as enemies to beehive keepers, according to Moore.

“If you get ants, they can devastate your hive. Ants are not our friends. Mites are a huge thing. Once the bees get mites, they leave. We can’t really figure out why,” Moore says.

Moore gave advice for newly interested beekeepers.

“Take the class,” Moore says. “That’s huge. The class is $65 for three hours. If you took the class, if you’re scared of them, it’s so much easier once you do it. The steps to take care of them are easy, but it’s a lot to know. It’s just like any other hobby — you have to know what you’re doing.”

Honey Hive Farms

Farm store hours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays

14611 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria

602-330-8468, honeyhivefarms.com

Classes are $65

Mailing address: 24654 Lake Pleasant Parkway, Suites 103-757, Peoria, Arizona 85383

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