My Hive; Your Hive: Terri Duval wants to share the benefits of her raw, local honey with you.
By Breanna Call
When Terri Duval was a young girl, for breakfast, she didn’t put syrup on her pancakes. Instead, she used honey. That’s because she grew up with a great-grand-father who raised bees. There was no shortage of raw, local honey for young Terri.
She remembers sitting on her back porch next to a bush full of bees. “I would let them crawl on my hand,” said Terri. “As long as I held still and was quiet, they’d just walk around . . . and wouldn’t sting me. I never have been afraid of bees.” Terri carried those childhood memories with her, and when she and her husband, Jeff, bought a 27-acre farm in Grover, bees soon became a motif in her life.
In 2014, she bought her first two packages of bees. Now, nearly a decade later, Terri has ten hives on her property. “Once you’ve raised bees for a few years,” says Terri, “you start to accumulate quite a bit of wax. I started to think, what can I do with this wax?” She decided to make lip balms and lotion bars. Knowing honey is an antibacterial, she also started making soaps. “I take a goat’s milk soap as a base and then add honey to it,” says Terri. “I have four different flavors: there’s lemon, cinnamon cardamon, poppyseed lavender, and oatmeal.” With these products, My Hive was born in 2018. “It was created to support my bee habit,” explains Terri. “My Hive products were originally produced for my personal use, but over time, have gained a regional following.”
One wonderful benefit from Terri’s raw, local honey is that it can build up your immune system to fight off seasonal allergies. “This may be just an old wives’ tale, but it is accepted by most,” says Terri. How this works is her bees gather pollen from plants in the area, which means the raw honey they create has small amounts of local pollen in it. So, “if you have a teaspoon of raw, local honey a day,” explains Terri, “you’ll get pollen from everything, and your body will build up a resistance.” The hope is that by exposing yourself to small doses of the pollen throughout the year, when spring does roll around, your body will be more resistant to the pollen, and your allergies will be less severe. Duval says she has seen this work, but she also acknowledges that everyone is different, so it may work better for some than others.
“[Bees are] fascinating,” says Terri. “All you have to do is stand outside the hive and observe them as they come and go. Some returning with colored pollen; purple, red, yellow and orange in their pollen pouches and nectar in their honey stomach. Others are doing the ‘waggle dance,’ which tells her sisters where the pollen and nectar is plentiful. Others guard the entrance from unwelcomed guest. While others remove dead bees from the hive. If you watch long enough, you will learn that every bee has a job, and the colony works together for the betterment of the hive. Bees are such interesting creatures. I’ll be learning from them for a long time to come.”
To continue to educate herself on bee-keeping, this year, she helped in the organization of a new local bee club—High Mountain Pollinators and Bees. Their mission is to educate and help local Bee-keepers. “Anyone that is interested can join,” she says.
You can learn more about Terri and her products at myhivellc.com. You can also find her at local craft fairs throughout the year, or, better yet, reach out to her at email@example.com or (307) 248-8056, and she will fill your order. Terri wants everyone to benefit from her products, so she keeps them as inexpensive as possible. “It’s fun having other people really enjoy what I make,” she says.