Harvesting honey in Ceres | The Bland County Messenger

The couple’s love affair with bees began almost ten years ago when Brett, an engineering professor, took a course in beekeeping and became enchanted with the honey producers. Soon they had two beehives in the yard.

“It was a hobby for a while, but the bees kept multiplying,” Tina said. They had to find something to do with honey, so Gather Ye Honey was born.

“He’s kind of the brains behind beekeeping, and I do everything else, harvesting, bottling, selling – the business side of things,” said Tina, who quickly shared her husband’s fascination with bees.

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“I could talk about it for hours,” she said. “It’s endlessly fascinating – how they operate as a colony, no individual bee can do anything on their own; it must have the rest of the colony to survive as a unit. And they have so many little quirks. They communicate by pheromones; you know if you drove them crazy. The hive will begin to smell like bananas. You know you have to shut up and go. And the noise (from the beehive) changes if you do something they don’t like. It’s an efficient organization, that’s for sure.

The business first appeared in Ceres after 2014, when the Tempest bought property on the Bland / Smyth County border after Tina hiked the Appalachian Trail.

“I hiked from Maine to Georgia in 2009, and fell in love with the area; this is the most beautiful section of the trail, ”she said.

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