We are the beekeeping monks of Holy Cross Monastery out Wayne, West Virginia—Appalachia, USA! We would call our apiary Monastery Bees but know that everyone around here will know us as the Bee Monks. So—we give. Bee Monks we are. Hats off and deepest respect to our wonderful West Virginians who like to keep things simple.
Brief History of Beekeeping at Holy Cross Monastery
In the year 2000 Dr. Maurice “Moe” Sill, a retired sociology professor from Marshall University, donated his farm, chestnut log cabin, and beehives to our brotherhood. During our twenty years of beekeeping, we have experimented with different methods of raising mite-resistant honey bees, expanded our apiary to one hundred hives, and now sell queens, nucs, raw honey, and other apiary products.
Breeding Mite-Resistant Honey Bees
We selectively breed honey bees for mite-resistance, then gentleness and honey production. In 2020, we became members of the West Virginia Queen Producers, a very experienced and highly trained group of queen breeders. In cooperation with fellow queen breeders of the WVQP, we continually add honey bee genetics from multiple lines of mite-fighting, mite-grooming, and varroa sensitive hygienic honey bees.
Honey Bee Nucs
In early spring we sell overwintered honey bee nucleus colonies. And in May and June we sell nucs from our spring beehive splits. Our customers pick up their nuc orders right here on the beautiful monastery grounds.
Queen Honey Bees
We ship our monastery honey bee queens as early as the last week of April and continue through the early part of July. You can arrange a local pick up of mated queens at the monastery, as well as virgin queens or queen cells. If you arrange a local pick up at the monastery, we look forward to meeting you. See you then, God willing!
Our bees produce an exquisite mountain honey that has a distinct West Virginia twang. That’s right, West Virginia honey has a twang! Our honey is raw and unfiltered—full of local pollen, antioxidants, and phytonutrients brought to you by the bees from treetops towering over the rugged hills and hollows of the Mountain State.
Local Fair-Trade Honey & Hive Products
We sell local fair-trade honey from producers in our beautiful and little developed region of Appalachia. If you produce honey in our region or want to learn how, let us know. We love our people and land and would love to build a mutually supportive relationship with you.
We practice sustainable management of natural resources out of love—love for God, for our local community, and for future generations. We make use of unfarmable and highly erodible land by planting trees and sowing nectar and pollen-rich honey bee forage. We cannot farm the steep hillsides, but the honey bees can!
We serve local families, apiaries, and farms by producing resilient and prolific queens and honey bees that will pollinate your gardens, help you create a successful apiary business, or by increasing your crop yields. We enjoy working with local community developers like our friends at Coalfield Development and Access West Virginia to stimulate opportunities for families in our area.
We want to share with you our love of beekeeping, our Appalachian community, and God’s creation. Our contribution to the beekeeping world is to speak with the voice of faith—beekeeping with a down-to-earth yet mystical Christian worldview. As a new generation of Orthodox Christian monks, we continue the ancient pattern of Apostolic Life—Christ with His Apostles. And we hope to inspire you with our love for Jesus Christ, Who after His Resurrection appeared to His disciples and ate with them a piece of broiled fish and of an honeycomb.