In 2013 Jeff Sherrod and I attended a beekeeping conference here in Nashville. Inspired to expand our agricultural efforts into the realm of honey production, we decided to take the plunge and start with two hives. We situated the hives right next to the fence of our community garden, hoping to increase the pollination of our fruits and vegetables. While we learned a lot the first year, through Jeff's relentless research and faithfulness, the bees survived, and we even harvested some honey!
In 2014 he split the hives to make four, and then purchased two more for a total of six. That year, we successfully sold over $1500 worth of honey at the local farmers market and neighbors. We started quite a “buzz” and it wasn't long before everyone was asking for more “Hopewell Honey.”
Now in 2015, we decided to continue our expansion to 25 hives, taking our operation from a novel side project to a full-fledged operation! Hopewell Apiary was born.
Part of our effort in beekeeping is to find ways of transferring marketable skills to the developing world. Every region we work in supports honeybee populations. Beehives themselves need very little space but will forage within a 5 mile radius. This is ideal for people who don’t own much land, like so many of the individuals that we know in El Salvador, East Africa, the Philippines and India.
About one-third of all food grown in America relies on the pollination of honeybees. The honeybee population in the US has been on the decline for the past 15 years. Honeybees are critical pollinators, and their survival is crucial for agriculture.
Raising bees and selling honey is a wonderful complement to our Agriculture program here at G.O.D. Intl. Not only are we able to educate college students at the Institute on beekeeping, but also younger students in the Academy for G.O.D., and even in our youth summer programs. We are excited to continue the pursuit of making this land the Lord has blessed us with one that is truly “flowing with milk and honey.” (Numbers 14:8)