We are a mother daughter team, Gail and Rebecca Conroy, who keep bee hives in Pinellas county Florida at three apiaries (map below). We fell in love with bees 13 years ago with our first hive on the roof. Our bees pollinate millions of flowers within a 5 mile radius, connecting us intimately to the ecosystem we live in. We keep natural small cell bees which are more adapted to warm weather and with their smaller size are able to pollinate different flowers than larger, more commonly kept bees. Before keeping bees we did not know that many pests can assail them and many beekeepers end up using chemical and other treatments in their hives. We have chosen not to do this and use no treatments of any kind in our hives because we believe in working with the bees naturally and holistically. We manage bee diseases and pests without chemicals and we don’t feed soy pollen substitute, corn syrup or sugar. We carefully harvest pure honey by hand and always leave our bees plenty for themselves. The honey our bees produce is local, as contaminate free as possible, raw, and unfiltered.
Within the last few years my mom, Gail Conroy, and I have built a small business together sharing our honey and other bee gifts. I am truly blessed to work with my mom, who is resourceful, dedicated to nature, and inspired. As our time with the bees grows we are finding that the best gifts from the bees are their medicines. Pollen, propolis, beeswax candles, breathing the air from the hives and even their stings have health benefits we are still exploring with wonder.
Our Bee Yard Locations
Once the bees have capped the honey it is ready to harvest. We carefully brush the bees off the honey frames then take the frames inside. Or, for our hives in Largo, put them into another box covered with a sheet, then load them into the car and take them home for extracting. To extract honey we cut off the wax cappings , put the frames into our hand crank extractor, and spin out the honey. That’s it, direct from the bees.
Below you can see a hive with a pollen trap. Bees flying through the air create a static charge, when they land on a flower the pollen jumps to cover them due to the charge. The bee then cleans the pollen off and collects it into a ball she packs onto hairs her back legs called pollen baskets. You can watch the front of a hive and see foragers returning home with various colors of pollen balls on their legs. As the bees come home they walk over a screen, some of the pollen carried on their legs falls off into the drawer below which we can open from the back and transfer to the freezer daily. Bee Pollen is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is eaten for energy and to combat allergies.
Where to find us
We are at the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market October through May with gifts from our bee hives. Or you may visit our homes to pick up, call or email for details. If you are not local and would like anything except honey and pollen shipped to you please order online at: Rebecca’s Bees Store
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or #727-688-9069 (call or text)
Gail can be reached at email@example.com or #727-393-3943 (landline, no texts)