A Passion for BeesMy Bees Nest LLC


My Bees Nest LLC is the City of Flint’s first local apiary/beekeeping business and is owned and operated by Jason Bey. And what began as a hobby has become a successful enterprise and a life-changing journey for the Flint native. “My hobby turned into a business,” he says with a smile.

According to Bey, the mission of My Bees Nest LLC is “to be a source of pure honey for the residents of the City of Flint, spread the awareness of having bees around, promote a healthy environment for humans and insects, advocate for the need to have clean communities, and become an inspiration for others to want to do the same.”

Previously employed as a factory worker in the auto industry, Bey was injured on the job. “I had nerve damage in my back and eventually lost my job because of my injuries,” he shares. “It was rough. Then COVID hit and left me in a bad place.” The treatment for his condition was very painful and he stopped taking the pain medication because he didn’t want to become addicted. “It was ripping me apart. I lived by myself.” He decided that he had to figure out a way to get motivated  – mentally, physically and emotionally.

“Honey bees and humans are similar in so many ways. And, we need eachother.”

Jason Bey, Owner of MY BEES NEST LLC

Bey’s father was a farmer and he grew up in that environment. “Farming is in my DNA,” he says, and he first thought about raising animals. Then a thought popped into his mind. “What about honey?” He was intrigued by the idea of becoming a beekeeper.

While visiting a local farmers’ market, Bey met a woman who was selling honey produced at S & L Honey Farm in Flushing. When he shared with her his desire to become a beekeeper, she told him to contact her husband, Leo Stevens, and he would show him the ropes. “I went to see him and we talked about beekeeping,” Bey remembers. Bey also did a lot of research and decided it was what he wanted to do. He researched the process on YouTube and Google. “Beekeeping is simple and easy; getting started was the hardest part.”

Stevens continued to teach Bey about beekeeping. “He guided me along the way,” says the new beekeeper. “I purchased my first hive from him and he sold me the equipment I would need to start my own colony.” Some of the equipment required included a bottom board, brood box and frames to collect the honey. From another Genesee County beekeeper, he purchased two packages of bees –  boxes specially built to transport bees safely and securely that are sold by the weight of the bees. A three-pound package comes with worker bees and a mated queen. “Beekeeping is quite expensive,” Bey adds.

In February 2021, Bey finally established his own business, My Bees Nest LLC, which is located at his home in north Flint. “It is interesting and exciting to see how the bees work and to watch how they develop,” he states. The queen lays eggs on the frame and a wax foundation is formed. “The worker bees bring nectar and pollen to the frame and the nurse bees feed and groom the queen and process incoming nectar. Drones are the male bees,” Bey explains, adding that they have just one purpose and do nothing else. “Their job is to mate with the queen in flight. After that, the male dies.” The workers and nurses, who are female, do all of the work and are smaller in size than the drones. The average lifespan of the worker and nurse bees is 30-45 days. The queen can live for about five years or more.

Bey manages and maintains 20 hives in various locations. During the colder months, he makes sure the bees have enough food, in the form of sugar syrup. “They need to eat to produce the wax to make wax cells in order to bring in nectar and pollen,” he explains. In warmer weather, the bees forage for nectar on their own, which produces raw, wild honey.

Although Bey wears a protective bee suit, he has been stung on more than one occasion. The first time was while doing a hive removal with the fire department. “I actually climbed the fire truck ladder and it was a big hive!” he exclaims, and says he had quite a time getting it into a bee box. “The hive was so massive I couldn’t find the queen,” he remembers. “I kept the bees, but they didn’t make it through the winter.”

Of course, the best part of beekeeping is the honey. Bey tries to harvest honey twice a year, in the summer and the fall. “It’s quite a process,” he admits. The harvests yield approximately 150 gallons per year. “A lot of it depends on Mother Nature.”

The honey produced by My Bees Nest LLC is sold at the Davison Farmers’ Market and at Oliver T’s Market in Grand Blanc. It can also be ordered online. “I deliver and ship it – I do it all.” Bey also conducts workshops for Edible Flint and has some neighborhood development presentations in the works for this summer. He is also working with the NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) through a program for urban farmers to build wildlife habitats for bees utilizing vacant lots in Flint.

Becoming a beekeeper has been life-changing for Bey. “It is time-consuming but something I love to do,” he states. “I enjoy everything about it – learning and teaching. I manage the business, designed the logo and create beeswax products including candles and salves. It’s been fun learning about bees and how they contribute to our ecosystem. Honey bees and humans are similar in so many ways. And, we need each other.”


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