Bees keep area men buzzing

honey bees

COLERIDGE —The honey business is a pretty sweet career choice if a person enjoys traveling, area beekeepers say.

Jay Mathiason, Coleridge, has been involved in the business for many years, now. His company, Jz Bzzz, has grown quite a bit over the years.

Mathiason started the business in the mid 1990s. With about six hives at first, it was truly a  one-person show, he said.

He said the business was more of a hobby while he worked full-time as a subcontractor building houses. He later expanded the business, and needed full time help.

His son, Jayson, joined the team around 2005, when Mathiason decided he wanted to work with bees full time.

“I get to be my own boss,” Mathiason said, “And I love the outdoors.”

Jayson said they spend about a third of the year on the road, and they’re always trying to expand annually to make up for any losses they have from time to time.

At the beginning of each year, Jayson and Jayson’s cousin, Colten Benson, who joined the team last year, ship bees to almond orchards in California, which is where every beekeeper sends their bees at that time of year.

Almond trees depend on honey bees for pollination. The company rents their bees to the orchards around February or as early as October the year before.

In May, when the almonds are done, the bees are packed up and shipped back to this area on semi-trailers and are set in the fields all around NE Nebraska, especially up near the Missouri River. They use plenty of space in the area, since only so many bees can be placed per acre.

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