Aquidneck Honey in Middletown, RI chemical-free
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307 Oliphant Lane Unit # 1
Middletown, RI 02842
For Businesses and Institutional customers:
Important Notice to our valued customers. The fees we incur to have our products delivered to you are now at 18%. I have not raised my prices as of yet and hope not to. If it is possible for me to deliver or ship direct to you, please let me know. This will save us all money! It is my pleasure to bring a pure, Raw local honey to our community. We never heat, treat or process our honey and NEVER use chemicals or pesticides. We use all natural herbs to fight mites and bring a honey with amazing flavor and nutrition to your table. Contact me to have a demonstration at your school or event and visit the web site for locations to purchase and up coming events.
Farm Fresh RI regularly updates the Local Food Guide. Let Farm Fresh RI know if something is inaccurate.
Middletown, RI - “Hi, I’m Jeff your beekeeper.” This is Jeff Mello, of Aquidneck Honey’s standard greeting to his customers at the farmers markets. I heard this phrase often when interviewing Jeff as he set up for the Aquidneck Grange farmers’ market, and he genuinely means it to every person who eats Aquidneck Honey.
Jeff’s beekeeping today comes from a childhood connection to botany. He grew up around his Portugese grandfather who was the type of man that could grow anything and everything. Throughout his life, Jeff has continued his family’s tradition of growing various plants. One year, he noticed that there were no bees pollinating his plantings and he bought two hives for his garden. The hives were a huge success and over time his hive collection has grown immensely.
Today, Jeff cares for about 900 hives. He does not order his bees from a company; all of his hives come from the wild. When residents of Rhode Island want wild hives removed from their property, Jeff is called so he can come over and remove the hives instead of them being destroyed. He removes the hives in a way that allows them to be transported to a new and better-suited location. The hives do not all reside in one place; they are spread across the state on various farms and homes. If a farm is organic and a suitable home for a hive, Jeff will install a hive on the farm for free. The hive lives there permanently, and occasionally Jeff will come by and collect the honey. This is very beneficial for farmers who have also noticed the decreasing number of bees in the area. By rescuing wild hives and redistributing them across the state, Jeff is preserving bees and sustaining the basis our food structure. Bees are key component in our food system, so, as Jeff also emphasizes, “No bees, No Farms = NO FOOD”. So far Jeff has rescued over 170 wild hives.
In addition, all of his hives are chemical free and are located on all-natural or organic farms. The honey is chemical free for two reasons: Jeff does not use any pesticides or sugar water as a food supplement for the bees. All of Aquidneck Honey products use raw natural honey. This is beneficial for consumers because the local raw honey can help with pollen allergies and other ailments in ways that pasteurized or generic honey cannot.
Jeff’s beekeeping methods are highly successful, and last year he harvested over 12,000 pounds of honey for his hives. He believes that being chemical free has improved the health of his hives dramatically, and has not encountered any of the difficulties covered in recent media reports of the disappearing bees.
He hopes to use his bees’ success not just for the greater agrarian good of Rhode Island, but for the betterment of farmers in South America as well. Jeff’s long-standing connection to Portugal has afforded him many trips back and forth, where he has noted that use of chemicals on food and in hives. He hopes to return to South America and teach other beekeepers how to transition to chemical free operations.
Jeff understands the importance of bees. He recognizes that they are a keystone species and he works tirelessly to keep the population alive and well. Even his bee allergy won’t deter him from tending to his bees; taking care of them is his passion. Jeff’s happiest days are when he builds new hives and gets to observe the huge swarms at work. Jeff truly is Rhode Island’s beekeeper. Pick up your own bottle of honey, honeysticks, cut comb, or lip balm at a vendor near you!