Joel White Apiaries strives to save bees locally

Joel White became interested in bees in 1975 after a college coach introduced him to beekeeping. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Joel White became interested in bees in 1975 after a college coach introduced him to beekeeping. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)

Joel White became interested in bees in 1975 after a college coach introduced him to beekeeping. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Joel White has 70 honeybee colonies scattered throughout several farms in the Brentwood area. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper).
Image description
Image description
Joel White said his passion for beekeeping began in the 1970s when one of his college coaches took him out to show him his colonies of honeybees.

“I was just amazed,” White said. Soon after, he acquired 20 colonies of his own to care for.

After decades of being a physical education teacher and swim coach, White began to expand his interest in bees and gathered more apiaries, or collections of beehives.

Today, White has 70 apiaries with hundreds of thousands of bees throughout the Middle Tennessee region, including hives at Beech Creek Farm, Autumn Crest Farm, Mint Springs Farm and even his neighbor’s backyard. He is also a member of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association and teaches classes to aspiring beekeepers.

While White sells pollen by the pound and offers bee colonies for those who want to establish their own apiaries, he said his top-selling product is definitely honey. The honey can be purchased at stores and restaurants throughout the area or through White directly. •“This year in Tennessee was a very good year for honey production,” said White, who bottled more than 1,500 pounds of honey to sell in 2019.


Despite last year’s high level of honey production, White said he is still concerned about bees dying off, which he attributes more to mites infesting his colonies than to changes in the weather or the use of pesticides.

“It’s getting worse; it’s not getting better,” White said. “You can have a hive that’s perfectly strong and come back in three weeks and it’s just gone. It’s terrible. About three years ago, in the state of Tennessee, about 70% of the bees died, and I lost about 50%. I have some friends who lost all of their bees.”

While White said he makes money through his honey sales, he is most motivated by a desire to save the bees from dying.

“The bees, to me, are everything,” White said. “I make a little money out of it, but it’s about keeping the bees alive more than anything.”

Joel White Apiaries

4856 Manassas Drive, Brentwood

615-308-3776

www.joelwhiteapiaries.com

Hours by appointment only
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Mental health specialists say taking time to work on connecting with family and being reactive can help alleviate stress and anxiety. (Community Impact Staff)
The Refuge Center for Counseling in Franklin offers mental health tips, telehealth appointments during coronavirus outbreak

Mental health specialists say taking time to work on connecting with family and being reactive can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

Music City Center in downtown Nashville will serve as an alternative treatment facility for COVID-19 patients. (Courtesy Music City Center)
Music City Center in Nashville to serve COVID-19 alternative treatment facility

Music City Center in downtown Nashville will serve as an alternative treatment facility for COVID-19 patients.

Eric Paslay performs at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage on June 8 during the 2018 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville. (Courtesy Country Music Association)
5 Nashville-area coronavirus stories readers should know

Find recent Nashville-area stories regarding the ongoing coronavirus below.

Cool Springs Wines & Spirits
Cool Springs Wines & Spirits to support hospitality workers with relief fund

Franklin-based Cool Springs Wines & Spirits pledged $25,000 to the Tennessee Action for Hospitality: A Fund for Us on April 3.

Franklin City Hall will close until further notice. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Franklin City Hall closes during statewide stay-at-home order

City services can still be accessed online or over the phone.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rates are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Tennessee sees 148% increase in unemployment insurance claims during week ending March 28; nationwide claims up 100%

Initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee climbed to more than 94,000 last week.

Trying to prepare your garden for a successful season? Here are some tips on how to get started. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
As coronavirus outbreak keeps residents at home, Nashville-area gardening expert shares tips for spring season

Trying to prepare your garden for a successful season? Here are some tips on how to get started.

census
Census response rates high in Williamson County

Williamson County's census participation is above the nation’s average response rate, as well as the state's, as of April 1.

Families can pick up food without leaving their cars. (Courtesy Williamson County Schools)
Williamson County Schools to host mobile food pantry April 4

Families can pick up food without leaving their cars.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
What to know about the Paycheck Protection Program: Small-business loan questions answered

Small businesses that have had to shut down during the coronavirus outbreak may be eligible for federal loans.

The network, identified as “COFPublicWiFi,” will be be available to connect to in two blocks around the city square in downtown Franklin, Harlinsdale Farm and Eastern Flank Battlefield Park. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
City of Franklin offers free Wi-Fi for the public

The network will be be available to connect to in downtown Franklin, Harlinsdale Farm and Eastern Flank Battlefield Park.