Growing from Deep Roots
The Story of Bee Wild
Bee Wild grew out of a longing of its founder, John Wright, to bring a piece of his childhood to an urban audience. John grew up in the spectacular beauty of the North Georgia mountains. Soon after high school, John was drawn to the bright lights of Atlanta, a city which, luckily for John, retains its deep Southern heritage. He soon became a man equally comfortable in two worlds: the slow-paced, nature-rich land of the mountains and the lively, culture-rich environment of Atlanta.
One of John’s passions is real food, and he has become somewhat of an encyclopedia on the subject). John’s father’s is a dedicated, enthusiastic beekeeper. One day it occurred to John that he could take the great passions of his and his father’s lives, raw and wild North Georgia honey, and bring it out of the mountains to a wider audience.
John’s dad started beekeeping on his 10th birthday in 1962 when his grandfather gave him 10 colonies of bees to raise as his own. From then on he kept bees in his backyard and at their family cabin on Lake Burton to take advantage of the Sourwood Honey flow. Sourwood is sought after worldwide and is considered by many to be the most “gourmet” honey in the world. Sourwood trees grow in very specific environments, and luckily for the family, they thrived in the North Georgia mountains, but were rare even 50 miles south.
John’s dad continued his beekeeping education through high school as well as college while earning his degree in forestry, learning every aspect of beekeeping and literally became his granddad’s shadow. He shares this knowledge to this day, teaching beekeeping classes and being a key resource in local University entomology studies on projects researching colony stressors, such as mites which may lead to “Colony Collapse Disorder”, a serious threat to the bee population nationwide.
When his Grandfather passed away in 1977, John’s dad inherited all the beekeeping equipment and decided to build a small “honey house” behind the house John grew up in on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. A few years later, John’s dad decided to go into the honey business full-time, quadrupling the size of the honey house and starting what became the love of his and John’s life.
We have always been something more than a third generation raw honey company. Our team members have broad and deep personal experience in alternative wellness, entrepreneurship, and personal coaching. So, when our customers’ needs exceeded the solutions that only providing raw honey gave them, we decided to expand our offerings.
Bee Wild isn’t just a cute name, we focus on the why wild honey is better for you than farmed or “tame” honey lol. Here’s what we offer:
- high quality raw, wild-crafted honeys that the Wright family has gathered for over 50 years. In fact, our Sourwood Honey won the honey category at the 2017 Good Food Awards, recognized for both the honey’s taste and our company’s green practices
- new “Wild Side” honey infusions – our first is “Devil’s Advocate,” a smoky sweet treat infused with an Ghost Peppers (don’t worry, it’s not TOO hot!). It is awesome drizzled on meats and makes the BEST BBQ Sauce.
- a honey body product line that takes advantage of the healing and moisturizing properties of honey
- a focus on the expansive, wild, primal qualities of Nature that can help us all thrive through times of steep change
- regular social media posts to focus on holistic wellness, environmental activism, easy change, urban and small organic gardening, real food resources, and sustainable technology
- helping #savethebees by donating 1% of our sales to One Percent for the Planet, the brainchild of the founders of Patagonia and Blue Ribbon Flies. This organization believes businesses can be the engines of positive, environmental change and proves this by enrolling businesses to support causes that make a difference to the environment
- formal education and support for green entrepreneurs
John is thrilled when people discover a love for honey similar to his own. He loves the reactions he gets when someone finds out that there is more than one kind of honey and that you can pair it with different foods just like a fine wine. We hope you’ve enjoyed our story of how Bee Wild came to be. Come share our passion and discover the delight that is Bee Wild… and if you get to Atlanta any time, give John a call.