Bar Bell Bee Ranch
 

Our Team

A family business since 1976; Bar Bell Bee Ranch prides itself on their sustainable practices and supporting the local environment and economy. 

 
Even bees try to photo bomb!

Even bees try to photo bomb!

Eileen & Ed Menefee - Owners & bee keepers

Together since 2006, Eileen and Ed have worked to expand Bar Bell Bee products into more than 45 retail locations and built partnerships with a multitude of breweries, bakeries an co-ops. check out the friends portion of the website for a complete list of everyone that carries and supports Bar Bell Bee Ranch. 

Eileen, Head of Product Sales and Finance, since 2006 has increased the number of local businesses that carry Bar Bell Bee Ranch products, as she is a    BEEliever    that honey should be available to the masses!

Eileen, Head of Product Sales and Finance, since 2006 has increased the number of local businesses that carry Bar Bell Bee Ranch products, as she is a BEEliever that honey should be available to the masses!

Finding queens is Ed's specialty

Finding queens is Ed's specialty

With a lifetime of experience and a continuing hunger for all things bee keeping, Ed loves what he does and it shows. Using every moment for teaching lessons, it's easy to pick up bee keeping practices when the teacher helps you learn every step of the way. 

Bar Bell Bee Ranch was named the 2017 Farm Family of the Year, through the University of Minnesota Extension Agency. Eileen and Ed were honored at a ceremony in Southern Minnesota with all the other Farm Families

Bar Bell Bee Ranch was named the 2017 Farm Family of the Year, through the University of Minnesota Extension Agency. Eileen and Ed were honored at a ceremony in Southern Minnesota with all the other Farm Families

 

Nicole - product & honey-House Manager 

These golden retreivers are too cute to resist

These golden retreivers are too cute to resist

for 5 years running, Nicole has had direct oversight with the bottling and shipping rooms; putting together nearly every order going off the farm.

she takes great pride in knowing all the ins and outs of the Extracting, processing, bottling, packaging and shipping functions for Bar Bell Bee Ranch. 

when you receive your order of honey, from a co-op shelf or in the mail through an internet order, Nicole has been a part of the process from start to finish.

Nathan & Carissa Menefee - Bee Keeper

Learning from his parents, Nathan has developed a passion for the sweet stuff too.

Nathan, and now wife Carissa, also have a hand in the success of Bar Bell Bee Ranch. Nathan runs his own XX hives, near his home in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Their involvement spans a variety of areas in the business; from helping with pollination in California, to honey extraction in Minnesota this duo keeps the colony happy and healthy.

Nathan & Carissa Menefee - When marrying a bee keeper, you dive right in, and help out, even if it means traveling to sunny California while it’s winter in Minnesota

Nathan & Carissa Menefee - When marrying a bee keeper, you dive right in, and help out, even if it means traveling to sunny California while it’s winter in Minnesota

From an early age, Nathan was introduced to all things bee keeping, this wasn’t simply a family business, it was a family passion

From an early age, Nathan was introduced to all things bee keeping, this wasn’t simply a family business, it was a family passion

Nathan & Ed unloading a haul of bees from California - a typical semi-load holds approximately 400 hives

Nathan & Ed unloading a haul of bees from California - a typical semi-load holds approximately 400 hives


Pure. Natural. Honey.


Bar Bell Bee Ranch only bottles and distributes pure, natural, honey. no additives, preservatives or flavors are ever infused into our honey. below are 7 varietals that have distinct and unique flavor profiles due the source of nectar from the flower, gathered by only the bees! We encourage you to try all the varieties of honey, as they contribute to a drink or dish in different ways.


Basswood

This fresh, flavor forward honey comes from the basswood trees surrounding Black Duck, Minnesota. Suggestive of ripening fruit, basswood honey is notably one of Bar Bell Bee Ranch’s top sellers. it’s often claimed that there is a distinctive, minty lingering flavor on your pallet that makes this a ideal honey for teas, biscuits, scones and paired with a light cheese, such as a Havarti.


Buckwheat

This rich in color and flavor, honey provides an extra zing to marinades or dressings and we strongly recommend drizzling it on your oatmeal; paired with walnuts and apricots. This polarizing honey has loyal followers that revel in its malty, molasses overtones and even find themselves using it for a sore throat or persistent cough. Buckwheat honey, isn’t for the faint of heart; but we recommend picking up a pound of the raw, and enjoying a spoonful of the creamy goodness, daily.


Dandelion

in the early spring, you can imagine how brilliant and electric yellow a field of dandelions are. that same yellow pollen makes it’s way into the honey bee hives and at the time of extraction the frames glow and drip with liquid gold, which makes Dandelion honey our favorite to extract. this uniquely flavored honey has the zest of an orange and other citrus fruits, along with a rich earthy flavor that pairs well with crisp apples and a soft goat cheese.


Orange Blossom

Close your eyes as you take in a spoonful of Orange blossom honey and you can taste summer. light citrus hints matched with smooth florals and simple freshness allow this honey to be used in a multitude of ways. summer siason’s, unique meads or infused in an ice cream with vanilla and lavender; Orange Blossom honey is as Versatile as any sweetener but is more often saved for special occasions and pairing with a lovely Toma Cheese and crispy crackers.


Sage

Light in color, this delicate honey hints to sweet clover-like flavors that often are subtle and missed if paired or overpowered by a tea or cheese. However, Sage honey offers a beautiful compliment that wont compromise a drink or dish while leaving aN elegant floral aftertaste on your pallet. We recommend that you use this honey on your morning toast or as you make a jelly or preserve for a refined sugar substitute.


SunFlower

At this time we do not have inventory of sunflower honey that we can stand by as being extra tasty; fingers crossed that the bees help us out with that this year.


WildFlower

Wildflower honey is as sweet as it smells; full of flavors that span from summer clover to rich alfalfa; this honey is a staple in any kitchen and on any peanut butter sandwich. Wildflower honey is Versatile as a sweetener and could be considered a table-top honey that can be used for just about anything. don’t mistake it for haivng a limited flavor profile; depending on the year wildflower honey can be off the charts tasty and have unique depth that will pair well in a salad dressing or drizzled on ripe strawberries.



Interested in Beekeeping?

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Bar Bell Bee Ranch is a family owned and operated business that has a passion for beekeeping and honey production. Our team is small and works hard, while enjoying the outdoors and the cultivation of a health colony of bees. Working between Northern Minnesota and the Central Valley in California Bar Bell Bee Ranch operates a colony of approximately 1,000 hives. In this role of beekeeper you would have a critical part in the health and wellbeing of bees and the supporting of the local environment. We hope that you have a passion for learning, agriculture and nature. 

If you are interested in this Beekeeping as a profession or hobby, send a summary of your qualifications, or interest to Eileen & Ed Menefee via email at BarBellB@PaulBunyan.net

What you can expect to do as a beekeeper:


Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • Building, inspecting or repairing hives  

  • Introducing a new colony or maintaining an existing one

  • Feeding or checking the health of the bees

  • Monitoring the size of the colony and amount of honey produced

  • Treating the hives and bees to fight disease and pests

  • Collecting honey from hives

  • Grafting, breeding queen bees, smaller starter or ‘nucleus’ bee colonies

  • Participating in the honey extraction process 

  • Help maintain beekeeping equipment and facilities 

Requirements:

  • This individual must not be allergic to bees or bee stings

  • Must be able to lift 60lbs repetitively

  • Must be able to live and work in Northern Minnesota from the months of Mid-April - October 

  • Hard working

  • Reliable

  • Trust worthy

  • Team Player

  • Positive Person

  • Drug Free

  • Non Smoking Individual


It’s a plus, but not mandatory if:

  • You have prior knowledge of beekeeping 

  • You have a valid and current driver’s license 

  • You have a experience operating a forklift 

  • You are willing to travel to California in March to work for approximately 20-25 days


No H2A applicants accepted at this time; must be valid to work in the United States.