A Minnesotan apiarist has explained why they are relocating a substantial part of his business southwards for some months.
Travis Bolton and his wife Chiara are running Bolton Bees near Saint Louis. Founded in 2014, they “strive to be the best source for high quality MN-hardy bees and raw honeys in the Midwest.”
In a video on their YouTube channel, Travis offers an insight into their preparations.
He said: “We are getting a yard ready for winter. Here, we’ve gathered hives which we think will do well this winter in Minnesota.”
Travis added that several other hives would be taken to California and Texas where he and his wife would concentrate on rearing queen bees.
The family company has also made a name for itself by specialising in supporting pollinating plants at solar farms with beehives.
Speaking about the target of their solar endeavours, Travis told the San Antonio Express-News: “It’s become a common practice in Minnesota and Michigan for solar farms to be multipurpose. Solar farms take up a lot of space, so it makes more sense to use a multifaceted approach.”
The beekeeper explained that numerous solar farms in Minnesota would have to be pollinated for other agricultural uses in addition to the solar panels.
Travis also revealed being “open to entertaining the idea” of launching a solar initiative in Texas. Such a step would depend on the location, he told the San Antonio Express-News.
On their company website, the Boltons point out that “each jar of Bolton Bees Honey is natural and raw, with nothing extra added. Each honey has a different colour, taste and texture, depending on the flowers the bees have visited in the area.”
Around 200,000 residents of the United States engage in beekeeping, according to the country’s Department of Agriculture (USDA). The governmental institution also reports that they manage almost five million honeybee colonies.
The United States’ share in the global production of honey ranges around four per cent, according to figures provided by the European Commission (EC).
EC statistics identify China as the global market leader with 26 per cent ahead of the European Union’s 27 member states (12 per cent) and Turkey (six per cent).
While apiarists in China produced 444,000 tonnes of honey in 2021, their US American counterparts provided 71,000 tonnes.