February 21, 2024


Reinvent your ride!

Torrington mechanic turns auto shop into haven for beekeepers

5 min read

TORRINGTON — For Ed Bahr, beekeeping started as a interest. Now, his previous automobile fix shop on South Main Street has been reworked into a beekeeping retailer and workshop web-site.

Wholesome hives and good treatment of bees are vital to Bahr — and should subject to all of us.

“Every other thing which is on your plate is for the reason that of the honeybee,” he said.

When a buddy received ill, Ed and Kim Bahr took around Mike’s Beehives. During the pandemic, they designed the final decision to near Bahr Auto Fix at 1065 South Principal St., which the pair ran jointly for a long time, and focus on the beehive business enterprise complete-time.

“When the pandemic strike, my workforce required to continue to be household and accumulate unemployment, and that’s when I decided to definitely do this,” Ed Bahr claimed. “I’ve been performing automobile repair service for possibly 42 a long time, and I have been in the Torrington spot for a extended time.”

The few has now designed a a person-prevent halt for beekeeper supplies and custom made beehives.

Bahr, who lives in Goshen, is also following in his father’s footsteps. Francis Bahr was an avid beekeeper when he lived in Danbury, he reported.

“He life in New Mexico now, he’s 86, and he’s still healthful,” Ed Bahr stated. “He characteristics that to staying stung by bees the venom is essentially assisting him continue to be wholesome.”

Bahr often helped his father with his hives when he was young. Then, 12 many years in the past, while attending the Connecticut Flower and Yard Show in Hartford, he fulfilled Mike Rice, who owned Mike’s Beehives.

“We grew to become buddies,” Ed Bahr said. “Mike ran his small business out of his residence. For a several yrs, I was serving to with his bees … I designed hives and bee boxes.”

When Rice bought most cancers, he questioned Bahr to get above the business, Bahr said.

“And for the reason that of COVID-19, and shedding employees, I resolved to open up it listed here,” he reported.

Bahr mentioned he had a large amount of help from good friends and loved ones, as very well as Torrington veteran Edward Sutton.

Within the workshop

In the entrance business office, products of Bahr’s custom made wood beehives are on display screen, as very well as his dad’s first “Bahr’s Honey Farm” sign. Parts of wax from the hives, and mannequins modeling protective beekeeping suits and headgear, can be located all through the retail store.

Within the garage is a tidy space with much more displays and provides: suits and head coverings, glass honey jars, and Bahr’s handcrafted hives. A classroom spot is set up in the far corner, exactly where bee workshopes are held. They’re generally nicely-attended, Kim Bahr explained.

“There are individuals who are just starting out, and individuals who have been executing this for a when,” she said. “To begin out, you get two hives, and construct from there.”

At the rear of the supply location and classroom, her husband mills the wood for just about every hive from a huge pile of logs stacked outdoors the garage in the back, chopping items of wood with dovetail joints of his very own style for the packing containers. The dovetail joints can aid maintain the hives from becoming ruined by their range just one predator — bears, Ed Bahr stated.

“The wooden joins with each other so when you pull on it, it doesn’t appear aside. Ordinarily a bear can tear a hive aside rather conveniently, but not as very easily with these,” he mentioned. “It’s the strongest hive you can get.”

In the garage, a mix chicken coop and two beehives are designed as a person unit, for someone just starting up out and wanting the two.

“Since COVID-19, men and women have absent again to outdated-fashioned varieties of factors and are intrigued in bees, chickens, canning and gardening,” Bahr mentioned.

Growing the company

The pair is planning to build an apiary on the assets with more beehives, and they hope to employ the service of far more workforce as the enterprise carries on to increase.

In point, the small business is exceptionally hectic, and Bahr explained he is effective really hard to maintain up with the need. This 7 days, he was driving to Ga to decide on up a offer of “bee deals,” just about every holding amongst 10,000 and 11,000 bees with a queen, which will be picked up by his prospects this weekend.

“I’ll generate down there, pick them up, change close to and occur household,” he mentioned. “People will be ready in line to choose them up on Saturday.”

The Bahrs are the biggest distributors of beekeeping materials in the spot and reported they like the plan of presenting a “real” retail outlet for customers to check out, as a substitute of obtaining them purchase materials on the web. Consumers occur from Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to store.

“It’s good for them to have a brick-and-mortar location to acquire from,” Ed Bahr claimed.

Retaining anything regional is also critical to the Bahrs.

“Everything listed here is American designed, with American wooden and supplies,” he said.

Defending bees

Several people are joining the beekeeping motion simply because they are worried about the fall in honeybee populations throughout the planet.

Bahr said trying to keep bees healthier is important. He also admires the complete approach of bees and the work they do.

“Everything performed in the hive is in the dim,” he reported. “The staff all have careers there are sentries, and drones, and bees that act as janitors to maintain items cleanse. If persons had been as arranged as bees are, we would not have any problems in the environment.”

Friend and documentary filmmaker Harvey Hubbell of Litchfield has bees, and plans to film the approach of beeekeeping, Ed Bahr claimed.

He’s also aiding his buddy Mike Rice, who obtained him interested in the initial put.

“When I called him and stated I needed to do this, he reported I built his dream appear legitimate,” he stated. “He’s the explanation this all started off.”

Kim Bahr explained Mike’s Beehives has modified her husband’s outlook for the superior.

“When he was managing the auto mend, it was nerve-racking — he’s pleased now,” she claimed. “And he’s very passionate about it.”

Mike’s Beehives can be achieved by contacting 860-605-0023, or emailing [email protected] or go to Fb.com/MikesBeehives.

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