A Publication of WTVP

Three Million Bees!

Abernathy’s Honey utilizes chemical-free practices to harvest the purest honey in the region.

by Peoria Magazine |
Ron Abernathy of Abernathy's Honey

by Jonathan Wright

For nearly two decades, Ron and Nami Abernathy of Abernathy’s Honey have been keeping bees at their home in Bartonville, utilizing chemical-free practices to harvest the purest honey in central Illinois. “We have approximately 50 hives, each with around 60,000 bees,” Ron explains. “Three million bees is a lot of bees! They are situated in three different yards on our property.”

The bees produce honey during every season except winter. Each harvest has a unique taste and color based on where the nectar came from—as well as the temperature, weather, rain and moisture. “It varies throughout the year as the bees produce honey from fruit trees, locust trees, clover, aster, golden rod, etc. … So you never know what you are going to get,” Ron notes. “Some people like the dark honey that has more of a bold taste to it, and some like the honey with a calmer flavor to it.”

Unlike most commercial honey, Abernathy’s Honey is raw and never pasteurized, so it retains essential vitamins and minerals—and a host of health benefits. In addition, the Abernathys use honey to create all-purpose balm and lip balm, and they even offer a bee removal service. “We also offer tours of the property to school groups,” Nami adds. “It is nice when the children come out to see the bees and learn about what they do and how important they are.” PM