Welcome to Benjaminsbeez

Welcome to Benjaminsbeez

About us - Benjaminsbeez

We are a family of 5 that started keeping Honeybees in 2013 for something fun to do with our children.  Since then we have grown to over 20 hives that produce 100's of pounds of Organic Honey a year, however Honey is not the best part of beekeeping. Keeping Honeybees is a wonderful connection to nature that keeps us searching for new and better ways to care for honeybees in these increasingly difficult times.    We hope to provide helpful insight to the next generation of beekeepers. 

Honeybee Basics

What Makes the Honeybee Unique?


 I like to refer to the honeybees as vegetarian, pacifists.  Their diet consists of pollen for protein and nectar for carbohydrates. They do not consume meat or other insects, hence the vegetarian.  A honey bee stinger is barbed which prevents it from being used more than once. Which means, when a honey bee is forced to sting,  the barbed stinger is pulled from the body, resulting in the death of the honeybee. Hence the pacifist.   I rarely wear protective clothing. I found that the veil prevented me from seeing the bees and the gloves causing me to crush honeybees while inspecting the hive. My best protection is not causing any  harm to the honeybees.  



The Queen Bee

 A Queen Honeybee is raised on royal jelly by special nurse bees during her 16 day development stage.  Royal jelly is made by nurse bees which is a powerful antioxident that causes her to develop 25% faster than a worker bee and allows her to live up to 6 years.  Meanwhile a worker honeybee lives for just 40 days!  During peak summer months, the queen can lay over 2,000 eggs in a single day. 


The Worker Bee

Most of the hive is made up of female Worker Bees. They do all the tasks associated with keeping the hive running smoothly which Includes raising new bees, guarding the hive making honey, and raising or caring for the Queen.  Approximately, 1/3 of all of our food is pollinated by these female worker bees.  Pollination occurs when a Honeybee carries pollen on her body from a male apple flower to a female apple flower, thus pollinating the flower and allowing it to form into a fruit (aka "The Birds and the Bees")  Almond-Apple-Avacado-Cashew-Cherry-Chocolate-Coffee-Coconut are just a small number of foods that we would not have without the honeybee.


The Drone

Drones or male Honeybees do not help with any hive chores, and do not have a stinger.  Their only job is to mate with a newly emerged queen.  However, when they do mate with a Queen their "stinger" is pulled from their body and they die.   Drones that do not mate during the season are kicked out of the hive in the fall months and often freeze to death.  The worker bees kill the drones in an effort to conserve energy in the hive during the long winter months. 

How are honeybees unique


A colony or hive is made up of 1 queen bee, a number of female worker bees (between 1,000 and 60,000) and a small handful of male drone bees.  The female worker bees make beeswax honeycombs that they use to store pollen, honey and raise new honeybees.  In colder climates, the colony will save up enough honey in the honeycomb as a food reserve. Bees will naturally look for a warm tree cavity in which to make their home.  There is a stark contrast to the thin pine boards that beekeepers use to make the standard hive box. This type of hive offers little to no insulation or moisture control. 


Raw Honey


Lightly filtered and never heated.

All honey wil naturally crystallize due to its low moisture content. Simply warm the thickened honey in the sun or in a pan of warm water to liquify. 

Hand poured Crayons


Made with natural ingredients in small batches



Natural lip balm, healing balm made  with natural ingredients

*All products are available at Butler's Orchard*

What about honey


 Raw honey contains up to 80 different substances important to human nutrition. Besides glucose and fructose, honey contains: all  of the B-complex, A, C, D, E, and K, minerals and trace elements:  magnesium, , phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium,  iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese. HONEY, correction RAW honey has over 5,000 enzymes, a host of antioxidants including Pinocembrin which is collected from plants stored in honey. Pinocembrin has been shown to help the body fight a host of serious ailments and improve brain function.

Most if not all store bought honey is  heated and filtered which removes all the helpful nutrients and enzymes that are in RAW HONEY.  


Super Market "Honey"

Honey purchased in supermarkets is heated and filtered. This process removes most if not all of the enzymes and nutrients naturally found in Raw honey. Some store bought honey has been proven to be nothing more than thick sugar syrup with flavoring.  In October of 2017, the BBC reported that over 75% of store bought honey had dangerously high levels of  neonicotinoid, a dangerous pesticide that is linked to the declining bee population. 


What Is Happening With the Honeybee?

It is complicated. Honeybees are bred for gentleness for our safety and enjoyment, however this may cause them to be less aggressive to other pests. PESTICIDES and their excessive use along with new pesticides that are applied to every plant seed long before there is a problem insect.  These pesticides target every insect including the helpful Honeybee. LOSS OF NATURAL HABITAT, and  the introduction of invasive species are just a few of the possible issues. 1,000's of POLLINATOR HIVES are transported on tractor trailers all across the USA to help pollinate our crops, however these hives are introduced to new pesticides at every stop and lead a very stressful life. 


How Do Wasps and Hornets differ?

Wasp and Hornets often consume meat, other insects, and even Honeybees in order to feed themselves and raise their young. Most do not have barbed stingers and are capable of stinging numerous times for little or no reason.  I caught the European Hornet on the right killing and eating my Honeybees. 

Honeybees are the only type of bee to make or store anything that we can consume.


What Makes the Honeybee Stinger Unique?

A honeybee stinger is barbed so once the stinger is used it is ripped from the honeybee causing its death.  The venom sack is special and continues to pump venom after the honeybee is gone.  Bee Venom is used as treatment for arthritis,MS, nerve pain,  fibromyositis and enthesitis.    It is important to keep in mind that everything has a anger threshold.  Knowing that the honeybee does not respond well to dark colors, bad odors,(leather,bad breath) fast movements (don't ever swat at a bee) and clumsy or unorganized behaviors.(always have a plan going into a hive)  and never enter a hive during bad weather
I rarely wear protective bee suit or gloves, and rarely get stung.  

This is a small video showing the venom sack pumping after it has been pulled from the worker bee 


Modern Honey Beehive Design

A hive is made up of a number of boxes that stack on top of each other.  Each box has a number of removable wooden frames that allow the beekeeper to inspect the honeycomb and replace it with little to no harm to the hive.  The boxes are made of thin wood which provides little protection from the elements  

Prior to 1850's honeybees were kept in weaved baskets called Skeps.  A beekeeper would have to crush a entire hive in order to remove the honey and wax.  Inspecting a hive was unheard of during this time period. 


Which Beekeeping Tools Are Necessary?

Beekeepers us a smoker to cover the alarm pheromone that guard bees use to warn the other honeybees.  Also, instinctively, the honeybees prepare for a forest fire by consuming honey.  This in turn, makes the bees more docile toward the beekeper.  As you can see, this makes the smoker the beekeepers best tool.  

I personally do not use gloves nor veils in most situations.  When removing frames and boxes around, I have found that the gloves make me clumsy and the veil restricst my vision.  


Our Naturally Kept Bee Yard.

Our goal and enjoyment is to keep bees and educate interested people. We do not treat our bees with any of the harsh chemicals that are available and suggested by many beekeeping organizations.  Our bees are treated naturally for and given naturally occurring oils when needed, instead of harsh antibiotics. The antibiotics can have an effect on the 5,000 enzymes naturally occurring in raw honey.  


What started as a hobby in my back yard, has quickly grown into a family obsession.  I could not stop trying to know more about the honeybees.  I make my own Queens, catch feral swarms, keep an observation hive in my home and harvest all my own honey.  I have helped many people get into beekeeping.  From the  Home Depot employees that were helping me cut lumber for bee boxes, neighbors, church members, coworkers and many more.  If you think you would be interested in advice on beekeeping or a tour of our bee yard, please contact us at BenjaminsBeez@gmail.com.


How Is Beekeeping In This Area Unique?

Montgomery County Maryland has very few natural landscapes where native plants bloom in turn through out the spring summer and fall months. This natural bloom by native plants gives important food to natural pollinators. The Montgomery County Council has worked hard in recent years to build pollinator gardens to restore the balance for Bees and butterflies.  



Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879, United States