The Hive, Where Local Honey Bees are Buzzing!
Local Honey Bee Haven
PHOTOS AND STORY BY: AMI BROWN
If you are looking for some local honey, information on beekeeping or some good old fashion conversation and hospitality, stop by The Hive, you are sure to find what you are looking for and more. Located at 4146 Long Beach Road and almost hidden in the little row of shops, but definitely worth a look.
Craig Connolly grew up a farm boy, on a dairy, chicken and honey farm in the foothills of good of North Carolina. He simply lives and breathes honey, beekeeping and is dedicated to educating a younger generation about the importance of the bee population and honey.
Where have all the bees gone? There is a serious problem with CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) that is destroying bees and preventing pollination. Also local mosquito control is another factor. Craig works closely with several universities, the NC Beekeeper Association and the American Honey Association to find solutions. He says, “There is just no simple answer…”.
Craig grew up in 4H and now volunteers for the local 4H group. He tells me that beekeeping is a dying industry and not enough kids are learning about farming and agriculture. He informs me too that 99% of everything we eat is
dependent on bees – which is a real worry if something happens to them.
Craig will come set up a hive on your property if you are having pollination problems. He will also be happy
to give a talk to your local group.Contact Craig through his Facebook Page – The Hive Natural Honey Store. Craig also teaches a beekeeping course through Brunswick Community College. The Hive offers a huge variety of local and regional honey including: creamed honey, whipped honey, sourwood, blueberry, alfalfa, clover, buckwheat, orange blossom honey. There’s not just honey on the menu, but also: molasses, apple cider vinegar tonic, bbq sauces, royal jelly, bee salve, elderberry syrup, muscle balm and mountain stone ground NC grits – straight from his family’s own mill, which he can’t keep on the shelf. Seasonally Craig carries other types of gifts too. Right now you might find ornaments and some beautiful candles.
He is very particular about what he sells. He made it, or he knows who did – if not, he’s not interested. Craig is the real deal when it comes to buying local and supporting the community. In the Spring and Summer he has a full garden, veggies and tomatoes by the bushel. His bees do all the hard work, and he provides delicious fresh food for locals to enjoy. He believes in “treatment free” beekeeping – he say’s ..”let bees be bees!” This is a much more natural and healthy way for the bees to live. Craig is looking to expand in the near future and include commercial clients and sell wholesale.
He says he couldn’t have been this successful if it weren’t for his amazing neighbors, Jerry and Mary Helms. Mary volunteers in his shop and has been an instrumental inspiration to his business. He also wants to thank all of his local customers and the community for their support. He rarely sees tourists, but regular customers drive more than an hour to buy his honey, something he is pretty proud of.