Grant Award: $6,000
Jackson has built a honey house to hold extraction equipment and process honey. He is purchased a 12-foot by 24-foot prefabricated building and located it close to one of his bee yards. He has wired it for electricity and installed a floor drain, tile, and an on-demand water heater.
Without a centralized location for extracting and bottling, “I spend a lot of time shuffling equipment from one building to another depending on the season or time of year,” Jackson said. “This process is inefficient and disruptive to family life,” especially when he is processing honey in his family’s kitchen.
The honey house creates efficiencies so that Jackson can spend resources on enlarging his bee yard. He also plans to process other beekeeper’s honey for a fee, as well as supply woodenware for beekeepers, who often need it at last notice to recover swarms.
Jackson started collecting swarms in 2008 and has managed approximately 25 hives since 2011. In the next five years, he expects to increase to 50 hives, with the goal of doubling his honey production to 150 gallons per year. Eddy is one of the largest beekeepers in Rutherford County and one of the few beekeepers actively helping others process honey. He participates in the local bee chapter, helping beekeepers learn best management practices.
Jackson’s plan is to cut back on his landscaping business as he increases income from honey house rentals and from sales of honey, bees and woodenware. He hopes to eventually hire additional help. “I am excited about expanding my business because I love my bees and want to foster that same passion among other beekeepers and the community,” Jackson said.
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