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

Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines to relocate operations center to Williamson County

The airline is expected to bring nearly 350 jobs to the region.

Mainstream Boutique
Women's clothing store Mainstream Boutique opens in Franklin

The women’s boutique offers clothing and accessories marketed towards a broad range of women.

Crumbl Cookies
Crumbl Cookies now open in Franklin

Crumbl Cookies opened in Cool Springs on Feb. 13.

Chick-fil-A
Chick-fil-A to open new Berry Farms location Feb. 19

The fast-food fried chicken eatery offers its signature sandwiches, nuggets, milkshakes, dipping sauces and waffle fries.

Early voting for the March 3 primary election begins Feb. 12 in Williamson County. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)
Early voting for March primary election begins Feb. 12 in Williamson County

Early voting in Williamson County begins Feb. 12. Here's what to expect.

bike lane
Brentwood to hold public information meeting on Granny White Pike bike lanes

The city of Brentwood is seeking public feedback on the addition of bike lanes to Granny White Pike.

A map showing land uses for the county from the Williamson 2040 plan draft. (Courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County releases Williamson 2040 plan draft, public hearing to be held March 12

The county has released a public draft for future land-use and how to deal with growth.

Crumbl cookies
Crumbl Cookies to open new location in Franklin

The bakery offers fresh cookies for pickup or delivery.

Recent rainfall in the area has caused flooding in some parts of Franklin. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Franklin announces temporary road, park closures due to high water

Several parks and roadways have been temporarily closed due to high waters from heavy rains in Franklin.

Americana Taphouse
First Look: Americana Taphouse opens in downtown Franklin

The restaurant carries 24 rotating taps for a variety of draught beer options.

Sensing Park
Brentwood to consider purchasing land for new park as landowners seek to prevent development

Property owners are working with the city to preserve the 90-acre tract.

Back to top