4 Queens Sanctuary

Elizabethtown, Illinois

4 Queens Sanctuary

Elizabethtown, Illinois

A Beekeeping Dream

In the heart of Hardin County, Illinois, lies 4 Queens Sanctuary – an apiary with a focus on western honeybees. David and Carol Musgrave started with one hive and expanded to five within a year. 4 Queens Sanctuary now spans 155 acres and continues to grow with support from Farm Credit Illinois and the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC).

David, a combat veteran, always had an interest in farming and raising bees. He named the farm as a tribute to his wife and 3 daughters, and to create a place to seek refuge from day-to-day stress.

Hero's Honey

David served in the U.S. Navy during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

As veterans like David transition to civilian life, Farm Credit works to ease this transition and help them succeed in agriculture. In 2019, 4 Queens Sanctuary became a member of the Farmers Veteran Coalition and began marketing with the Homegrown by Heroes trademark for products and goods.

The Farmer Veteran Coalition supports veterans through this process, helping them with everything from financing to marketing. Through training programs, incubator farms and a strong network of experienced farmer veterans, FVC cultivates a new generation of farmers and food leaders, developing viable employment and meaningful careers for those who have served our country.

Farm Credit proudly partners with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to run the Homegrown by Heroes program.

Feeding The Bees

4 Queens Sanctuary also focuses on sustainability through habitat improvement projects that transition forest to prairie grasses and forbs.

These improvements benefit bees and other pollinators, while also supporting wildlife like monarch butterflies, bobwhite quail, eastern turkeys and white-tailed deer. 4 Queens Sanctuary’s current projects include timber stand Improvements, invasive plant species removal, prescribed burns and prairie grass restoration.

“The vision for the farm is to be good land stewards through conservation projects and habitat

management efforts in order to leave the land better than when we acquired it,” David said.

David continues to expand these habitat projects and plans to plant an additional 10-15 acres of flowers and plants native to Illinois.