Fascination with honey bees grows into sweet, small business in Malabar


Lyndon Jones and his wife, Lee, own Trevena Bee Farm in Malabar.

Jennifer H. Monaghan

The importance of honey bees can’t be overstated.

“We don’t do it for money; we do it because we like it, and we have been doing it for over 30 years,” Lee Jones said.

Her husband agrees.

“Beekeeping is so interesting as a hobby, and gratifying as a business,” Lyndon Jones added.

The Joneses are honey beekeepers and owners of Trevena Bee Farm in Malabar.

“Bees are important. If there were a decline of bees, within four years, we would decline with it. We wouldn’t have enough food to eat and we would starve,” Lyndon Jones said.

Every third bite of food eaten by humans is due to pollinators — honey bees are the primary pollinators and support the overall health of the ecosystem.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDAC), commodity crops in Florida such as blueberries, watermelons, cucumbers and onions would produce little to no fruit if it were not for the honey bee.

What started as an enthralling hobby for the Joneses grew into a small business when they relocated to Florida. With 150 hives, each containing 65,000 honey bees, Trevena Bee Farm harvests up to 4,000 pounds of honey each year.

The owners are proud of their success in maintaining healthy bees, reducing the risk of parasites and, especially, avoiding the use of any chemicals. Their honey is sold to the public from their farm, with a credit given for returned glass bottles to express customer appreciation as well as to encourage recycling.

The Joneses have an infectious admiration for the short life and work of bees.

“They’re amazing — they are an organized species, they make beautiful honey combs, they keep themselves warm when it’s cold. And, they are hard working. Bee venom also might improve certain medical conditions,” Lee Jones said.

Bees from Trevena Bee Farm collect nectar from wildflowers, palmetto and gallberries within a five-mile radius from their farm. The bees feed on their own honey.

The Joneses are happy to share tips with prospective beekeepers as a hobby or as a business. Detailed information about the state’s requirements for beekeeping can be obtained from the FDA’s website at fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/helping-agricultures-helpful-honey-bees.

Trevena Bee Farm is located at 2885 Corey Road in Malabar. For information, call 321-956-7850.