Living the Sweet Life on Williams Honey Farm
While no longer an actor in Hollywood, Jay Williams sure plays one in real life, certainly in our neck of the woods. For the past 10 years, Jay and his wife, Adrienne, have operated Williams Honey Farm, a local beekeeping enterprise that now boasts more than 100 hives. That buzz heard in the air this spring as Brentwood blossoms bloom? The chances are good that Jay and some of his 8 million busy bees have something to do with it!
“When we got into beekeeping, we thought it would be cool to get some honey,” Jay says. “But it quickly turned into helping the bees way more than making any honey. These days only about 20 percent of our work is focused on honey production.”
The rest of Jay’s work centers around maintaining hives for businesses, teaching school kids, performing conservation work and promoting pollinators. Not that there’s any lack of honey to harvest. In 2017, the Williams Honey Farm gathered approximately 2,000 pounds and won a major national award, the Good Food Award. This is perhaps one reason why the sweet stuff from Williams Honey Farm has been sampled by the past three U.S. presidents.
“I most enjoy empowering new beekeepers to jump in and raise bees themselves,” Jay says. “Our Facebook page, which contains how-to videos, has grown from around 2,000 followers in 2014 to close to 30,000 followers this year. I love giving people the courage to jump in and try this fascinating hobby.”
When asked if there are other ways to support Brentwood’s bees without maintaining an actual hive, Jay answers with an emphatic “yes!”
“Plant a bee-friendly garden in your yard,” he advises. “Designate an area just for bees and butterflies. You’ll be amazed at what will show up. Also, stop spraying your grass for weeds. Avoid having perfectly manicured front lawns. These are beautiful wastelands for pollinators—there is nothing of value for them to eat.”
You don’t even need a yard to help the bees.
“A business can sponsor one of our beehives!” Jay says. “We place the name and logo of the business on the hive and, each month, send out photo and video updates of how the hive is doing. Sponsors then share it on their own social media channels to show the world how they’re helping the bees. Funds collected from each beehive sponsorship further pollinator conservation efforts. Last year, we were able to give away over 350 seed bombs to area school children who planted their own native flowers in yards all over middle Tennessee. We need as many sponsors as we can get!”
If you would like to help keep Brentwood blooming, visit WilliamsHoneyFarm.com to sponsor a hive!