FEATURE – Daniel’s Apiary

The following originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.

Local Honey Business, Daniel’s Apiary, Talks Sweet Business…

Blaise Doubman

Daniel’s Apiary is a local honey business in Kennard, Indiana that some would say is a hidden gem. Owned and operated by Dan Drysdale and his wife, Terri, this honey business is gaining sweet success! Dan Drysdale began harvesting honey two years ago because he was concerned about the bee shortage and pollination problems. Dan and his wife, Terri, have always had a garden, so the growing interest and newfound hobby life of honey was not really that farfetched. Dan knew the value of bee pollination and what bee extinction would mean for not only life but the food chain as well, so his interest became more of a personal quest to help out when and where he could. Honey beesare a fascinating topic and so many people seem to overlook how important bees are to the human race, the food chain and to the World as a whole. For example, did you know that honey bees are the only insect that makes food a human can eat? Did you know that honey is proven to actually contain antioxidants that improve brain functions? Did you know that the reason bees are so noisy is because they beat their wings 11,400 times in a single minute? Did you know that only female bees can sting because male bees are born with no stinger? Did you know that honey bees communicate with each other by a series of dance moves? Did you know that a hive of bees will fly over 55,000 miles to make one pound of honey and can create upwards of 100 pounds of honey in a single year? Fascinating!

Honey bees are very valuable to humanity and Dan knew thatwhich led to his adventures in beekeeping. What started out as a way to help honey bees, quickly turned into a hobby, passion and then a business. Dan’s wife, Terri, said that “the selling part evolved when we had more honey than we and our family members needed. The excess was substantial.” They worked with Bastin’s Bee Farm, which was instrumental in helping Dan with his hives, harvesting, labels and bottles, which then led to festivals and festival event sales opportunities. Terri said that they do have their regular customers, including their local UPS driver, who stops by to buy their local honey. Dan has also sold their honey to a restaurant through a mutual friend, having word spread of their honey business even further. Dan’s Apiary just started selling their honey as festivals this last spring. They started at Shirley Strawberry Festival and that was followed by events in Knightstown, Carthage and Kennard. Dan also qualified for a government sponsored grant, the DFM, after his hives were carefully inspected a couple of times by the people associated with the grant. This government sponsored grant helps in researching healthy microbials to help honey bees.

The bee keeping business is “not for everyone”, according to the Drysdale’s, “it takes a lot of commitment!” Terri says that her husband Dan, has “6 hives that need maintenance and the harvesting is really a process!” When asked about some of her favorite recipes or uses for their honey, Terri says that she uses it to sooth a scratch throat. “It is an old wives take, I do not know, but it really helps!” She also explained that her daughter puts their honey in everything! “She swears it makes her kids healthier!” It is also delicious in marinades, baked goods and used as a natural sweetener. 

If you purchase some honey from Daniel’s Apiary and notice the slight color difference of the honey between the bottles, that is natural. The Drysdale’s explained to me that the color of the honey depends on the pollen available. In the spring the honey is light because the blooms are light. In the summer, as the flowers and plants grow, the color changes, so therefore the pollen color changes. Basically, the flavor stays consistent, just the color changes. Terri explained that working with bees can be tricky, but her husband Dan always loves a challenge and things right now are really operating smoothly. 

For more information on Daniel’s Apiary or to place a honey order, please contact Dan and Terri Drysdale directly at, 765-524-3733

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