Hello and Welcome and Thank you for Visiting Apricot Apiaries
(Family Photo - May 2016)
Apricot Apiaries is a small family business started in 2012 by Matt Allen and Liz Lovelock. Moving to Kimberly in 2009, Matt picked up two beehives as an extension of his fascination with insects and biology. Sharing his excitement with Liz, the hobby turned into an obsession and grew itself into a business.
We now manage close to 300 hives together, focusing on honey production in the John Day River Basin. Our season begins in late winter and early spring when we rent hives to fruit and nut growers for pollination services. As the hives grow, we make splits, selling nucleus hives to beginning beekeepers and others. We also raise many of our own queens and some to sell.
After the fruit orchards, we scatter our hives around Kimberly and neighboring ranches in Grant and Wheeler counties, taking advantage of the rich bottomland. Our harvest begins in June with a very light wildflower and black locust honey, followed by a mild but slightly darker clover/wildflower honey. In July, areas with large stands of knapweed produce a richer, stronger honey. Our main crop comes in August from white sweet clover and alfalfa. As the harvest comes in, we can start rendering beeswax into candles, lotions, and lip balm.
August marks the beginning of the beekeepers fall; we pull the last of our crop and focus on getting the bees ready for winter. The next few months are spent monitoring hive health and status. Small hives are combined, weak hives are re-queened, and light hives are fed. By diligent monitoring and calculated action, we hope to successfully winter and do it all again next year.
Beekeeping is a team effort. We would not succeed without some exceptional mentorship. To return the service, we periodically lead hands on beekeeper workshops. We have also toured several schools in Grant, Wheeler, and Gilliam counties with an observation hive and other lessons on bees and pollination.
In September 2015 we opened our honey stand in Kimberly, Oregon, next to the Thomas Orchards. This website and online store launched in February 2016.
Our son Teddy joined the team in October 2015 and has already demonstrated his enthusiasm for bees and honey. Our newest arrival, Leo, was born in April 2017, and the bees swarmed while the beekeepers were busy with their newborn.
(Family Photo - May 2017)
(Matt and a beard of bees)
See our article in Ruralite Magazine! Queen Bees of Kimberly
Liz serves up a swarm trap
Teddy - January 2017