Local Beekeepers Expand Honey Operation With WNC Ag Options Grant

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Mitch and Darlene Myers, the passionate beekeepers behind D&M Russian Apiaries, are buzzing with excitement as they proudly announce their receipt of the WNC Ag Options Grant. This grant will play a pivotal role in expanding their honey operation located in Clay and Cherokee Counties. The Myers, who operate a total of 9 yards in the two counties, manage up to 100 hives at the peak of the season. This marks the third time the duo has been honored with the WNC Ag Options Grant, a testament to their dedication to beekeeping and commitment to producing top-quality honey. One of the key enhancements the Myers plan to make with the grant is the upgrade of their equipment. They intend to introduce an automatic honey dispenser featuring an automatic turntable, a move aimed at enhancing the efficiency of their operation.

One of the yards that Mitch & Darlene manage

Mitch & Darlene receive their third WNC Ag Options grant, helping grow their operation based out of Clay & Cherokee County

D&M Russian Apiaries distinguishes itself by utilizing Russian honeybees known for their resistance to various mite strains that can threaten a hive. The Myers have also developed a Russian queen-rearing program. Mitch & Darlene Myers shared that their journey began when they discovered the challenge of sourcing pure, natural honey in the local area. Describing their honey as reminiscent of what “grandma and grandpa would have produced,” the Myers are committed to maintaining the authenticity and quality of their product. The Myers are conscious of the proximity of their beeyards to agricultural operations that can potentially have a negative impact on honey production and bee health, highlighting their commitment to sustainable beekeeping practices.

If you are interested in honey produced by D&M Russian Apiaries, you can join their customer base by visiting dandmrussianapiaries.com. They also have a selection available Tiger’s in Hayesville and Julie’s Place in Peachtree. They offer honey in sizes ranging from 4oz to 3 pounds – all produced here in the WNC Mountains of Clay & Cherokee Counties.

Mitch & Darlene at one of their Clay County yards. They are proud to produce quality honey ‘just like grandma & grandpa used to!’

The WNC Ag Options Grant, funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission since 2003, is managed through a partnership between the West District of N.C. Cooperative Extension and WNC Communities. To learn more, visit wncagoptions.org