How we got started…

  Jerry and Mary Anne have their roots in small agriculture towns of Minnesota and are typical people like those from Lake Wobegon as characterized by a local author/entertainer, Garrison Keiller. Having completed college and starting a family they moved to the Twin City area where Jerry taught high school mathematics for 35 years and Mary Anne was busy with family and earning an advanced degree in Nutrition and working the last 15 years at a local health care facility. Their interest in bees and apiculture peaked when a neighbor started two colonies of bees. They prepared themselves for the adventure of beekeeping by attending the beekeepers' short course at the local university, joining a local beekeepers' association and doing a lot of reading. In the spring of 1978, with the necessary protective and wood wear they ordered their first package of bees. It took two queens and some extra frames of brood (combs with baby bees ready to hatch out) from their neighbor to finally get off the ground but the first year was successful with the colony in three deeps and ready for winter by the end of that year's honey flow. Their numbers of colonies grew slowly over the years until they found it necessary to find a bee yard location away from their city home.


How we got our name…

They found a delightfully pine wooded lot northeast of the city purchased it and located their bees in the pine groves, hence the name Honey-Pine Apiary. Since the bees found it so comfortable in the pine grove, they decided to build a home of their own, provide for a simple facility to enhance beekeeping and a location for several colonies. They still have some bee colonies in the city and Jerry often refers to them as their city bees and country bees, with each location producing their unique honeys. Their family has often referred to their new location as The Bee Ranch. So here they are on the internet wanting to share these unique spring, summer, and fall honeys, beeswax products and beekeeping adventures with the world. They currently sell much of their product at local farm markets during the summer and fall and some to visitors at The Bee Ranch.


Hi, I'm Jerry the honey guy, or the beekeeper at Honey-Pine Apiary, or what we sometimes call the Bee Ranch. I grew up in a small farm in northwestern Minnesota. This early connection to farming was important and has stuck with me even after I moved away from the farm to the big city and became a public school teacher. I still have farming in my blood. However, in the city I could no longer plow up a big field, I naturally decided to try scaling down my farming passion. My next door neighbor started a couple of bee colonies, and got me interested. Beekeeping seem to fit the bill for scaled down farming. I started my first bee colonies in 1978.

   Since the beginning, my bees have produced honey that has won many awards at the Minnesota State Fair (which contains the one of the countries largest honey expos). In 1985, my honey and candles even won the sweepstakes. In the honey room, where all the honey is processed, you can see all the ribbons my honey has won.