BOOGER HILL BEE COMPANY
Ghosts haunt the hills that skirt the South Fork Broad River. That's how an old story goes, anyway, and it's how the Booger Hill Bee Company got its name. For old time Southerners, a booger is a haint, is a ghost. Pay a visit to Dan Harris' bee colonies out in Madison County, and the only spirits disturbing the calming bloom of flowering plants are bees. Thousands of them. But they are no threat — only an environmental boon and a producer of sweet honey — that is, unless, you bug them. Lulling the hordes with pine straw smoke, Dan extracts honey from hives kept outside his home, in the fields of organic farmers, and various other locals, spreading out the colonies to ensure fair competition for pollen and nectar. Bee keeping is a second act for Dan, who made a career out of selling medical equipment. At 50, eager for meaningful work, Dan went back to college to study horticulture. In the process, he fell in love with bees. Nowadays, Dan teaches classes in addition to raising bees and selling honey. For Dan, bees are a business, but it's just as much about educating masses of people about the necessity of healthy bee populations.