Type of Farm(s): Bee Apiaries
Highland Valley Apiaries is a small family business based in Milford, PA, but the hives where the honey for HVH comes from are mostly in Ulster County, NY. Ron has relationships with land owners and farmers; he sets up and takes care of the hives on preexisting farms. He selects the locations for their “abundance and variety of natural floral sources.” Ron prides himself on producing the best honey possible by keeping “healthy bees that are free from the use of hard chemical treatments or antibiotics.” Though not certified, he considers this organic management.
Due to his belief that commercial pollination has compromised the health of honeybees, Ron’s two goals are raising healthy bees and producing honey in areas that are free of commercial agriculture. He has made a commitment to not use medications to treat for diseases or infections. He relies on selective breeding from stock that thrives in these local environments and tolerates challenges. In order to replace hives that die during spring, they take bees south during the winter. While it is costly and labor intensive to do so, it helps make up for the losses they experience during the year. The honey collected during the winter is mostly used to raise more bees. They have had to install fencing to surround their apiaries in order to keep black bears out.