Based in Farmington, but keeping their bees along both the Animas and San Juan rivers, Bee-Orn Apiaries sells comb honey at the Durango Farmers Market.
Owner Steve Rankin said the apiaries follow Certified Naturally Grown guidelines, put out by a nonprofit that offers peer-reviewed certification.
“In the processing and the care of the bees, we don’t use any chemicals in the hives and we use natural methods of mite control,” he said. “It’s kind of like a grassroots organic goal for the care of the bees.”
Bee-Orn doesn’t move its hives, and the honey is unheated and goes without any undo processing, Rankin said.
Rankin’s family has been making honey for 20 years, through thick and thin.
“Beekeeping is a challenge these days, especially with all the multifactorial causes of problems – herbicides, pesticides, mites and just climate changes. It’s been a great year with all the rain, but some years there are droughts, so there are ups and downs.”