Apiary Expansion and Equipment Upgrade
Grant Award: $6,000
A 2020 AgOptions grant allowed D&M to expand its stock of mite-resistant Russian honey bees at its main apiary in Cherokee County, prompting Darlene to establish satellite bee yards in Clay County and buy upgraded equipment to handle increased honey capacity.
The new bee yards will create opportunities for diversification and expansion of sales into Union County and North Georgia, and will also allow her to grow her queen-breeding program. A new incubator will additionally boost growth of the breeding program, and a motorized frame-uncapping machine and large-capacity, stainless-steel bottling and filtering tank will enhance honey-processing efficiency. The farm currently has 62 hives with a goal of expanding to 200 hives.