Kelley’s Beekeepers Rush in Preparation for Hurricane Irma


 

Jason Hutton, one of Kelley Honey Farms beekeeper, checking on supe

The first day of fall passed and the honey flow in Texas has ended. Our beekeepers are all preparing to descend on the state of Florida in anticipation for this upcoming Brazilian Pepper honey flow. Category 5 Hurricane Irma is on course to hit southeast Florida. For the eager beekeepers the timing couldn’t be worse, many hives will be stuck in Florida and many more, that were in transit to the sunshine state, will have to be redirected. The lingering effects of the hurricane are likely to disrupt the honey industry in Florida until floodwaters recede and the flora recover. Jimmy Hutton is straddling the threshold of our office. He is a managing partner for Kelley Honey Farms so he’s usually neck deep in several projects and today is not the exception. He held the door open as he stopped by to update us at our Fort Worth office on the impending landfall of Hurricane Irma.“We’ve got about a thousand hives that just arrived near Lake Okeechobee,” said Jimmy. “We were able to re-direct another five hundred to Georgia, and we’ve left more in North Dakota and Texas that we could’ve brought down if it weren’t for the storm.” His sons, Jason Hutton and Johnny Hutton, are both beekeepers that help manage Kelley’s sister honey company, Griffis Honey Farms based out of Fargo, GA. They are busy preparing for the worst since some honeybees had to be left within seventy miles of the coast and just north of Miami. Most hives left in Florida are currently being sheltered from the elements where storage is available. The hives that are left in the open have had entrance reducers and covers to block the water from entering. As we prepare for the rains and wind, Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall on the Florida coast this Sunday. 

Hurricane Irma’s path and our hives in Florida.