Torrington mechanic turns car store into haven for beekeepers

TORRINGTON — For Ed Bahr, beekeeping started off as a hobby. Now, his previous car mend store on South Most important Avenue has been transformed into a beekeeping retail outlet and workshop site.

Healthier hives and appropriate treatment of bees are significant to Bahr — and should matter to all of us.

“Every other issue that is on your plate is due to the fact of the honeybee,” he claimed.

When a close friend obtained ill, Ed and Kim Bahr took more than Mike’s Beehives. In the course of the pandemic, they produced the choice to shut Bahr Car Repair service at 1065 South Main St., which the couple ran collectively for many years, and target on the beehive business whole-time.

“When the pandemic strike, my staff wished to remain home and accumulate unemployment, and that is when I made a decision to genuinely do this,” Ed Bahr claimed. “I’ve been doing car fix for likely 42 several years, and I have been in the Torrington place for a extended time.”

The couple has now designed a 1-prevent prevent for beekeeper supplies and custom beehives.

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

“He lives in New Mexico now, he’s 86, and he’s still healthful,” Ed Bahr stated. “He attributes that to staying stung by bees the venom is in fact encouraging him stay wholesome.”

Bahr often served his dad with his hives when he was younger. Then, 12 years back, while attending the Connecticut Flower and Backyard garden Demonstrate in Hartford, he achieved Mike Rice, who owned Mike’s Beehives.

“We became good friends,” Ed Bahr said. “Mike ran his enterprise out of his property. For a handful of decades, I was helping with his bees … I designed hives and bee containers.”

When Rice received cancer, he requested Bahr to just take around the business, Bahr said.

“And simply because of COVID-19, and dropping workforce, I resolved to open up it listed here,” he reported.

Bahr said he experienced a lot of aid from good friends and spouse and children, as well as Torrington veteran Edward Sutton.

Inside the workshop

In the front business office, types of Bahr’s personalized picket beehives are on display, as properly as his dad’s unique “Bahr’s Honey Farm” indication. Parts of wax from the hives, and mannequins modeling protecting beekeeping fits and headgear, can be observed all through the keep.

Inside the garage is a tidy space with a lot more shows and supplies: suits and head coverings, glass honey jars, and Bahr’s handcrafted hives. A classroom place is established up in the considerably corner, the place bee workshopes are held. They are normally nicely-attended, Kim Bahr mentioned.

“There are folks who are just starting off out, and individuals who have been doing this for a while,” she reported. “To get started out, you get two hives, and make from there.”

Driving the offer region and classroom, her husband mills the wood for every hive from a massive pile of logs stacked outdoors the garage in the again, slicing pieces of wood with dovetail joints of his very own design and style for the containers. The dovetail joints can aid continue to keep the hives from getting destroyed by their selection a person predator — bears, Ed Bahr said.

“The wood joins with each other so when you pull on it, it does not arrive aside. Usually a bear can tear a hive apart quite conveniently, but not as very easily with these,” he said. “It’s the strongest hive you can get.”

In the garage, a mixture hen coop and two beehives are built as one particular unit, for an individual just starting up out and seeking equally.

“Since COVID-19, persons have gone back to outdated-fashioned sorts of points and are interested in bees, chickens, canning and gardening,” Bahr reported.

Increasing the company

The few is arranging to build an apiary on the home with more beehives, and they hope to use extra workforce as the business enterprise proceeds to expand.

In fact, the small business is incredibly active, and Bahr stated he performs hard to retain up with the demand from customers. This 7 days, he was driving to Georgia to decide on up a provide of “bee deals,” every keeping amongst 10,000 and 11,000 bees with a queen, which will be picked up by his buyers this weekend.

“I’ll generate down there, decide them up, convert about and arrive household,” he mentioned. “People will be waiting around in line to decide on them up on Saturday.”

The Bahrs are the major distributors of beekeeping supplies in the space and reported they like the concept of providing a “real” retail store for buyers to stop by, in its place of owning them purchase materials on-line. Shoppers occur from Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to store.

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

Keeping anything nearby is also crucial to the Bahrs.

“Everything here is American designed, with American wooden and materials,” he claimed.

Preserving bees

Lots of individuals are signing up for the beekeeping movement for the reason that they’re involved about the fall in honeybee populations across the planet.

Bahr explained retaining bees wholesome is essential. He also admires the full procedure of bees and the work they do.

“Everything completed in the hive is in the dim,” he stated. “The staff all have work opportunities there are sentries, and drones, and bees that act as janitors to keep things cleanse. If folks had been as organized as bees are, we wouldn’t have any difficulties in the planet.”

Buddy and documentary filmmaker Harvey Hubbell of Litchfield has bees, and strategies to film the method of beeekeeping, Ed Bahr said.

He’s also helping his mate Mike Rice, who received him intrigued in the very first spot.

“When I referred to as him and mentioned I wanted to do this, he said I designed his aspiration come genuine,” he reported. “He’s the explanation this all began.”

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

“When he was jogging the vehicle fix, it was stress filled — he’s content now,” she explained. “And he’s pretty passionate about it.”

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