Back in 1949, over a half century ago, Andrew Card Sr. and his wife Alice were given one hive that quickly became many. Soon they began to provide hives for local apple pollination. Merrimack Vally Apiaries, Inc. was formed in 1958 as a partnership between Andy and Alice Card and Stewart and Ruth Cheney of Dunstable, MA. When the partnership was formed, Merrimack Valley Apiaries began pollinating wild blueberries in Maine and cranberries on Cape Cod.
In 1973, after graduating from Bates College, Andy Jr. made beekeeping his full-time occupation. MVA had about 2500 hives at the time. Crystal, who joined the business in 1974, began working with the bees and became interested in raising queens. Crystal's queen rearing operation produces over 50,000 queens per year today.
In 1976, MVA began migrating to Florida, leaving the bees in the care of Bill Ainesworth of Sanford, Florida, in order to meet the growing demand for stronger colonies for early New England pollination. In 1985, Andy Jr. bought his fathers interest in the company and purchased Bob’s Busy Bees from Robert L. Hayes of Bunkie, Louisiana and hired Lucy Ann Jurss of Osteen, Florida to manage the Northern migratory bees. In 1998 Lucy Ann and Robert retired and Joe Sanroma of Billerica MA was selected to manage the entire southern operation.
Today, both companies have grown and operate over 24,000 colonies nationwide providing NUCs, pollination services, processed and raw honey, and processed bees wax.
After graduating from Cornell in 2003, Wesley and his brother Glenn, a 2006 graduate from the University of Vermont represent the next generation of beekeepers from a family farm that began with a single colony. With three generations backed by fifty years of experience we look forward to meeting your beekeeping needs now and in the future.