About us:

In 2020, a friend who kept bees was moving out of town and couldn’t take his bees with him. My wife reluctantly agreed to let me get two hives. As we got into the summer of 2021, it became clear we had more honey than we could eat and if we were going to sell it we needed a name. One day while discussing names, our youngest daughter, who was three at the time, said something about our "honey bugs". Right then and there Honey Bug Bees was born!

Why us?

  • Made right here in West Lafayette, IN - Our hives are located in our yard in University Farm. Did you know the majority of honey consumed in the U.S. is imported? Not only that, but in many places local is not necessarily "local". For a number of reasons many larger honey producers move their hives around the country. The end result is a local beekeeper with honey that isn't really local after all.
  • Our bees enjoy rich biodiversity - Bees will fly in up to around a three mile radius of their hive. Our house is surrounded by hundreds of different species of flowers and trees that contribute to the richness of our honey and the health and well-being of our bees. By comparison, much of the commercially produced honey comes from bees pollinating vast fields of monoculture crops. That type of environment can rarely match the flavor characteristic of many honeys produced from a diverse environment.
  • No processed sugar - Many beekeepers take as much honey as possible from their hives in order to maximize profits. That means come fall they must feed their bees processed sugar in order for them to survive the winter. This is not natural and is extremely unhealthy for the bees. Bees may need up to 100 pounds of honey for a cold, long winter. We only harvest the excess honey and ensure they have enough to overwinter naturally. This results in healthier bees that live exclusively on the natural diet of nectar and pollen with no traces of processed sugar in our honey.
  • Local bees - Our bees are genetic decedents of Purdue's mite biter queen program. You can learn more about that here. Using this particular lineage of bees helps reduce the need for intervention as a result of the varroa destructor mite.
  • No requeening - Today, the practice of finding the queen, killing her, and giving the hive a new, young one is almost universal. We never do that! If the queen grows old or deficient, the bees will arrange a replacement themselves.
  • No queen excluders - We do not use queen excluders and give the bees the freedom to arrange their nest as they would do in nature.
  • Fully ripened in the hive - Capped honey is good honey. We let the bees cap their honey before we extract it. We never dry or dehydrate our honey.
  • Raw, never heated - Heating honey can be convenient during extraction and processing; it also slows crystallization. However, heating honey can degrade it. I want our final product to be natural.
  • Unfiltered - You want all the goodness of honey to actually be in honey right? We certainly do! We strain our honey to get out large chunks of wax but all of the good stuff is in there. Sure your honey may crystalize if you can manage to not eat it as quickly as we do, but at least you know it's natural! Crystallization is totally natural and the honey is still safe to eat.
  • Handmade - We use no electricity in the extraction and bottling process. The hand-crank honey extractor is often turned by our kids' hands. There are no pumps, heaters, or uncapping machines. Yes it takes longer, but the harvest turns into a family fun day, instead of being filled with the sounds of working machinery.
  • No plastic jars or comb - Honey is meant to be stored in glass. Chemicals in plastic can leach into honey over time. There are many other reasons but that alone is enough for me to avoid it. Similarly, many beekeepers use plastic comb or plastic foundation. Again, we don't want that in our hives.
  • Beautiful hives - Hives should be fun, they are an art project in the making. We like to making painting the hives a family affair. We like to think it puts a smile on our bees faces each time they fly home.

Thank you!

We greatly appreciate your support of our small family business. Our kids learn so many life lessons through the bees and your support allows us to keep them going!

Beekeeper Team

Matt Reed
Matt Reed
chief beekeeper

Learn about Honey

Forms of Honey

Learn about different types of honey.


A beehive is an enclosed structure in which some honey bee species live.


Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants in glands called nectaries.


Learn how this unintentional act is critical to plants and bees alike.


Flowers and their aroma influences the flavor and quality of our honey.


We take care of our bees to ensure they work properly for the best honey.