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Information about Smokey Mountain Bee Farm

My father and I began rearing queens for our own use in the summer of 1961. I was only 12 years old at the time and I had already been a beekeeper for two years. We learned the proper techniques from an experienced queen breeder, Ransler Barnes of English Mountain Apiaries, in Cosby Tennessee. We learned the basics such as cell builders, grafting cells, making up mating nucks, etc. From this base, we developed our own strain of Italian bees called "Winters Strain Italian Bees". We developed them to the point that we felt they would be of value to other beekeepers so in 1978 we started producing them commercially. In 1978 we founded Winters Apiaries to market the German Black bee and German/Italian hybrids that were still widely availble in this area. When news of the trachael mites in the mid-1980's spread to all beekeepers, the market disappeared. Everyone was afraid to buy queens or packages from breeders because they were afraid of getting mites. Another blow to the bee industry was the closing of the Canadian border to U.S. bees. We went from a nationwide company to a regional company almost overnight. After the mites became widespread, we found that the caucasian stock that we had maintained and from breeders from Bill Gafford, formerly of Bolling Bee in Alabama, over the years was more mite resistant than the Italians or the German Black Bee. We have now went back to our original Italian stock we used years ago.

We will be producing queens from multiple bloodlines from Italian stock We maintained from years ago that now have resistance to mites. We produce queens and package bees and ship them to forty-nine states and the US territories. We do not ship to Hawaii because of their restrictions on importing honeybees into the state. We are located near a small Tennessee town called Parrottsville near the Smoky Mountains. Our mailing address is: Smokey Mountain Bee Farm, 3223 Long Creek Rd., Parrottsville, Tn. 37843. Our telephone number is (423) 248-6604. We are beekeepers first so there is little time to stay in the office and answer the phone. Since we spend a lot of time in the bees, please leave a message. Feel free to email me at sales@honeybeestore.com, call, or write us a letter. Be sure to read our terms and conditions that apply to all orders as you are responsible for them. Thank you for visiting us and please call again.