Our Bee Blog

American Beekeeping Federation

American Beekeeping Federation

I just returned from the American Beekeeping Federation's annual conference. Two events made this year's conference special. First, I had the honor of being elected to the ABF's Board of Directors. Second, our Wisconsin Honey Producers Association's Honey Queen, Hannah Sjostrum, was elected American Honey Queen. As President of the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association, I am particularly proud of our queen program. The program is a great professional development tool for these young women.  Read more

Organic honey

Organic honey

I have one piece of advice for anyone buying honey: know your beekeeper. As important as it is to support pesticide-free environments for bees, there is no way to certify honey as organic within the continental U.S., simply because bees are capable of flying surprising distances. That doesn't mean there isn't good honey here, it just means that you need to look for other signals to know the quality of what you're buying. Here I share my thoughts on what to look for in order to find good local honey that is safe, healthy, delicious and raw.  Read more

Our Love of Beekeeping

Our Love of Beekeeping

I discovered my interest in honey bees when I was introduced to beekeeping in high school back in the mid-1970's. In this article for the American Bee Journal, I talk about how I went from six starter hives to running a business with more than 300 colonies. I share a fun story about how I involved my wife Bernadette with bees. I also discuss some of the changes to the farming landscape around Waupaca, Wisconsin, which have affected the availability of flowering plants that provide food for our bees.  Read more

The Beekeeper's Lament

The Beekeeper's Lament

"It's a rare season that ends as it begins," says John Miller, whose beekeeping business is featured in Hannah Nordhaus' new book. In this article that I wrote for the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association (in my monthly column as president), I share my thoughts on this book, which I find myself reading repeatedly: The Beekeeper's Lament – How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America. It is an enjoyable read for people inside and outside the beekeeping community, and it is also a far more relevant book than some these days, reflecting the many changes in beekeeping over the last 20 years.  Read more