MILLER HONEY FARMS
Nephi Ephraim Miller started his honey business in Providence, Utah in 1894. With the help of his pioneer father, Nephi exchanged five bags of oats for seven colonies of bees. This was the beginning of Miller's Honey.
The Idaho office of Miller's Honey Farms, Inc. was established in 1917, when Nephi Miller sent his son Earl into Southeast Idaho to seek additional bee pasture. In 1954, Earl's son, Neil took over the Idaho branch. Neil operated the Blackfoot, ID outfit until 1996. In 1996, he sold the outfit to his son John Miller.
In 1970, Miller Honey Farms opened a new branch in Gackle, North Dakota. Our family business has grown considerably and is now one of the largest beekeeping outfits in North America. John Miller has managed or owned this operation since 1980. The Gackle operation annually harvests over a million pounds of high quality honey for markets throughout the United States.
In 1974, Miller Honey Farms opened a new branch in Newcastle, California. A new industry, the almond industry was just emerging in California. Almond trees require honey bees to pollinate the crop. John Miller has managed or owned this operation since 1980. Due to population growth in Northern California and monoculture farming practices in ND it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable locations and keep bees healthy.
U.S. Honeybees Pollinate U.S. Crops. Buy U.S. Honey.
WHERE TO PURCHASE?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT MILLER HONEY FARMS?
Click the links below to hear a radio and video interview with John Miller discussing bees, honey, and our company's history.
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN "MILLER HONEY FARMS" AND "MILLER HONEY COMPANY"?
Miller Honey Farms is a beekeeping company (we have the beehives and make the honey).
Miller Honey Company is a honey buyer and packer (they don't have bees). They purchase honey from beekeepers (including us) and then package, market, and distribute that honey throughout the rocky mountain region of the US. Both of these companies are part of the same original Miller family line.
Nephi Miller had three sons, the first son, Earl, ran bees in Idaho (our line). The second son, Woodrow, ran bees in Southern California (no longer in business). The third son, Ray, stayed in Utah, but sold his bees and focused on honey-packing.
WHERE ARE YOUR BEES LOCATED?
That depends on the time of year.
Feb-March: The almond, plum, and cherry orchards of central and Northern California.
April-June: Half our bees are in beeyards throughout Placer County from Colfax to Lincoln. The other half are in Washington pollinating Apple orchards.
July-October: Once things are too dry in CA we ship our bees (via semi trucks) to North Dakota where they continue making honey throughout the summer.
Nov-Jan: Our bees spend the winter dormant in North Dakota.
IS YOUR HONEY LOCAL?
Maybe, but that depends on where you live, and what you consider local.
We are a family business located in Newcastle CA and Gackle ND. However as you read above our bees are well traveled, so we don’t claim to have 100% local honey.
IS YOUR HONEY RAW?
There is no official U.S.D.A. definition of “raw” honey, however it generally means honey that has not been heated or filtered.
Our honey is never cooked, filtered, pasteurized, or processed in any way. You may notice the small layer of wax and pollen that floats to the top of the honey, that is something you don’t see in most store bought honey.
CAN I HOST YOUR BEES ON MY LAND?
Yes! We are always looking for additional bee yard locations. In return we share a portion of the honey we harvest from our bees with the landowner. An ideal beeyard has these features:
- 10 acres or more that you own
- Level area about the size of a basketball court to place the hives
- Nearby water source (your neighbors swimming pool doesn't count :-)
- Spring Yards (March-June): Located in Placer County California (Colfax, Foresthill, Auburn, Newcastle, Lincoln)
- Summer Yards(June-Oct): Located within 100 air miles of Gackle, ND
- Accessible by a 1 ton pickup truck and forklift trailer.
- Cows, sheep, goats, and horses all get along just fine with beehives. They also keep the grass mowed, which is great for the beekeeper.
WHAT'S KILLING THE BEES?
This is a complex issue with many factors at play. There is a great website that dives into the 3 P's (Parasites, Poor Nutrition, Pesticides) and what beekeepers, farmers, and the general public can do to improve pollinator health.