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Media Advisory: ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin to visit Appalachian Headwaters in Hinton, W.Va., on Tuesday

Location is home of Appalachian Beekeeping Collective and ABCHoney.org

WV Press Release Sharing

HINTON, W.Va. – Leaders of the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective (ABC) and ABCHoney.org will host Gayle Manchin, Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

Members of the media are invited to attend the tour and presentations of the beekeeping, honey processing and packaging, and learn more about the pollinator research being conducted there.

The address is 206 Ferrells Eddy Fort, Hinton, WV 25951. Please follow signs to the Dining Hall.

Appalachian Headwaters leaders participating include:

  • Terri Giles, VP of Government Affairs, will host the visit
  • Mark Lilly, Head Beekeeper and Educator, and two partner beekeepers will talk about the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective program
  • Kevin Johnson, Education Specialist, will talk about Camp Waldo and our children’s education program
  • Dr. Kristin Wickert, Lead Scientist, will talk about the Appalachian Pollinator Center

Attendees walk over to the newly built Recreation Hall (which is all open air), which will seat approximately 30-50 beekeeper partners in the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective (with distancing precautions). There will be 6-7 beekeepers to talk about the program, and give Manchin and her staff time to meet and learn about how much the program has meant to them. (Approximately 20 min)

Staff will take Manchin and staff to our Bee Building, the former camp gymnasium which we have converted into a warehouse, processing line, and shipping center. Along the way we’ll stop by the high tunnel where Greg Grim, our Plant Specialist, will talk about Headwaters Native Plant program (which was a small part of our ARC grant). (Approximately 15 minutes)

ABC is a project of Appalachian Headwaters, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization. ABC helps beekeepers in distressed Appalachian counties learn how to keep bees an environmentally responsible way. The beekeepers not only earn income from the project, but also learn about local ecology. The program trains, supports, and provides bees and equipment at no cost to partner beekeepers. ABC partners practice natural beekeeping, using no synthetic chemicals or antibiotics.

ABC then extracts, bottles, and markets the honey. ABC hopes to connect to consumers who otherwise would be inaccessible to small-scale rural beekeepers, helping ABC partners earn money from their hard work.

ABCHoney.org was launched in 2020 to sell raw natural honey harvested by more than 100 partner beekeepers from hundreds of hives in Central Appalachia.

“Central Appalachia is ideal for natural beekeeping,” said Terri J. Giles, a vice president at Appalachian Headwaters. “Our bees gather pollen and nectar from pristine forests and fields and not from agricultural crops sprayed with pesticides.” The native Appalachian forests are full of nectar-rich species like tulip poplar, black locust, sourwood, and wildflowers. “That translates to the natural and healthy taste of our honey,” said Giles.

The ABCHoney.org website features a selection of raw natural honey and gift sets highlighting Appalachian artisan goods such as hand carved honey spoons by Greenbrier County native Eddie “Spoonman” Fletcher, and beautiful pottery from ceramicists like Walter Hyleck. Other gifts include Benko Glass, J.D. Dickinson Salt, and organic teas.

This project was funded through generous grants from organizations including the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and the One Foundation.

Learn more at www.appheadwaters.org and www.abchoney.org.

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