Walt Broughton started keeping bees as a hobby back in 1983, at his home in Chester County, PA. He began with just two colonies. Year by year, little by little, he expanded his business, later receiving the help of his sons. Today, they tend to over 450 colonies in a 30 mile radius, spanning three different counties in Pennsylvania and one in northern Delaware. “Collectively, my sons Abram, Luke, Jeb, and I have in excess of ten decades of ‘beeing’ with the bees,” says Walt.
In 2014, it became clear that Swarmbustin’ Honey was “bustin” at its seams – much of the family’s time was being spent transporting supplies between beeyards, rather than doing their good work teaching, researching, and caring for the bees. That year, they began a crowdfunding campaign, with the goal of acquiring an “all-under-one-roof” facility for their operations, which would also serve as an Agricultural Education Center. The center will be open to the public to share in their learning and research. As of May 2018, they have raised $17,271 of their goal, which will go 100% towards the purchase of a parcel of land for their project.
You can get involved too! There are various ways to donate, with an assortment of sweet and unique gifts for their donors. View their page here: Swarmbustin’ Tee Roughles – Self-Induced Crowd Funding. You can hear Walt speak about his business and their crowdfunding campaign in this video.
Walt and his family are passionate about spreading their knowledge of bees. “Feeling a responsibility for the welfare of the bees, and the factors troubling honey bees, we offer free workshops to beekeepers of all experience levels,” explains Abram. “The workshops focus on maintaining the hives through the seasons, emphasizing on how to monitor the mites and offset their pressure within the hive. Our goal is building towards a more self-reliant beekeeper, better prepared to maintain happy and healthy honeybees.”
If you’re interested in learning more about bees, their importance, and what you can do to help, look no further than Swarmbustin’s blog, which is great source of information, featuring various bee experts. Walt and his family care deeply for their work. Watch this video to see just one of the creative ways they have acquired hives from the local area.
Some of their recent research, over the past 4 years, includes the breeding of a heartier queen. Abram explains, “These queens are better adapted to this environment, showing desirable qualities to better combat the ever-growing threat of the Varroa Mite. These genetics are lessening the mortality rate of the hives through the winter and are desired by other beekeepers. We have also started building up and selling Nucleus Colonies (4 frame colony) to experienced and ‘beeginner’ beekeepers alike: we have a waiting list anxiously awaiting their new hives.”
Their Totally Raw Honey is unheated, unfiltered honey, which is carefully extracted from the honeycomb, then spun out using centrifugal force. (No heat, filters, or strainers!) As their packaging indicates: There may be pieces bee pollen, propolis, and honeycomb in the finished product – so you can get truly “Totally Raw Honey” in every spoonful. “All of the honey that our hives produce goes to the Totally Raw, our signature and most nutritional honey. When they say to eat local honey for allergy relief, you want it in its rawest form, and there is no beating the Totally Raw,” says Abram.
In addition, Swarmbustin’ offers Pints and Quarts of honey that each showcase the diversity of the seasonal flora available to the honeybees in this region. Unlike the “totally raw”, this honey is strained and does not come solely from their own hives. Don’t miss their “Black and Gold” which is a combination of Spring honey with Fall Wildflower honey. Their Spring honey, which they call Golden Nectar, comes from a central PA beekeeper, and their Fall Wildflower honey comes from a beekeeper in southwest New York. By sourcing from other responsible beekeepers, Swarmbustin’ offers us a wide variety of delicious honey
They also offer Classic Honey Bears and Bee Pollen, which is sold frozen. The pollen is freshly harvested and some find that it is helpful in alleviating symptoms of allergies. Bee pollen is 30% protein and contains 18 amino acids, as well as Vitamins A, C, D, E, and the entire B vitamin complex.
As part of their efforts to give back, Swarmbustin’ Honey also partners with ForestPlanet to match donations made by their customers, to help in planting trees in countries that have been deforested. Stop into any of our six locations to try this delicious local honey!