When Bill and Bonnie Stein bought two beehives to pollinate the apple trees in their yard, they did not intend to become professional honey producers. Bonnie had worked in the public schools for nearly 20 years and Bill had worked in construction for nearly 29. However, their two hives eventually grew into 900 hives and today Bill and Bonnie happily own Stein’s Honey, which produces more than 1,000 pounds of honey each year.
Bill and Bonnie sell both comb honey and cream honey across 70 grocery stores and farmers markets in northern Ohio. All of the Steins’ beeswax is used to make candles, ensuring that nothing goes to waste.
Stein’s Honey is a family affair. Bill and Bonnie’s three children have been beekeepers since childhood, when they learned to help bottle, label and distribute honey. While all three now have off-farm careers, they continue to help their parents' with the operation.
AgCredit has been a valued partner to Stein’s Honey, especially during the spring months as the Stein’s look to replace hives and buy queen bees, the most cost intensive part of the year for beekeepers. Bill said, “AgCredit makes it really simple. We don’t have to worry about how and when we are getting loans. AgCredit supports us and we pay the loan back as we can afford it. It works out really well for us.”
Looking to the future, Bill and Bonnie hope to pass the farm down to their children and keep Stein’s Honey in the family for generations to come.