Todd Hardie has been instrumental in educating us about bees and honey. Considered the bee guru of the north country, we are very lucky to have him as a guide in this field, that we are learning is complex and fascinating. He has taught us what to look for in the different flavors you might find in different regions and how to treat the honey during bottling to preserve its nutrients and beneficial properties. His network of beekeepers spans the whole country so we were lucky to secure honey from Montana to Florida and points in between.
Todd and his younger brother Tom started keeping bees on the top field of their family farm when they were 12 and 9 years old. They were intrigued with everything about their nature from communication to the sweet nectar they created.
After studying honey bees and insects, agronomy, pomology and vegetable crops at Cornell University, Todd worked with the elders of beekeeping in the Finger Lakes for two years.
He also spent many years as the Apiary Inspector of the northern eight counties of Vermont, helping beekeepers and reducing the diseases prevalent in bee hives.
Todd started Honey Gardens Apiaries which consisted of 1,900 beehives in the Champlain Valley of Vermont and St. Lawrence River Valley of northern New York State.
His team used their bees’ raw honey to make a line of honey based traditional Vermont plant medicine. From there, they moved on to produce honey wine and mead, and eventually Barr Hill gin and Barr Hill vodka, which became Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick.
Todd now grows organic rye for bakeries and Thornhill Farm rye whiskey on the farm that he is steward of in Greensboro. He continues to work with bees at home and in Ferrisburgh.