History of Crystal's Raw Honey

In 1949, Andrew Card Sr. and his wife Alice were given one hive that quickly became many. Within a couple of years they started to provide a few hives for local apple pollination. In 1958 Andy and Alice Card created a partnership with Stewart and Ruth Cheney of Dunstable, MA to form Merrimack Valley Apiaries, Inc. At this time MVA started to pollinate wild blueberries in Main and cranberries on Cape Cod.

After graduating from Bates College in 1973, Andy Jr. made beekeeping his full-time occupation. At that time MVA had about 2500 hives, in 1974, Andy Jr. and Crystal were married. Crystal soon began working with the bees and became interested in raising queens, Today Crystal's queen rearing operation produces over 50,000 queens per year.

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.