Local Bee Keeper Finds Economic Stability in His Own Backyard

By KBJR News 1

August 12, 2011 Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 9:22 AM CDT

In an un-assuming suburban neighborhood, something is buzzing.

"We aren't running up and down the street and waving and getting people all excited: 'look at what moved into your neighborhood"

But people do seem to be excited.

"There's a neighborhood orchard close by here, and they were just ecstatic that we were moving bees into the neighborhood," says Duluth bee keeper and owner of Miel Honey Mark Walters.

Mark and his son Zach have turned the backyards of both their homes into a honey producing franchise.

"I didn't know if it was even possible because I didn't know any bee keepers up here. So I just said, hey pops let's do it just to do something together eh?" Says Zach.

What they found was a hungry market, and bees to feed it.

Mark and Zach usually get about three pounds of honey out of each frame, and there's about nine frames in each box.

"Last year we took 1,600 pounds. Its absolutely nuts," says Mark.

Despite all that honey and beeswax they can hardly keep up with the demand they've found at local farmers markets.

"We can only reach so many people and if we really want the business to grow, we need to be doing more than just selling to one person here, one person there," says Mark.

Walters says he credits the local success of his product to the growing concern people have over eating imported, processed foods.

He offers them the peace of mind of knowing exactly where their honey is coming from and that maybe their own garden flowers played a role in the process.

And even with business expansion plans, It's impossible to think Mark will ever loose his passion.

"When it gets like this, this is absolutely beautiful. Just beautiful."

For something he truly loves so much.