Kutik’s “Everything Bees” builds a thriving business.livestock news


Chuck Kutik doesn’t exaggerate his business name. Kutik’s Everything Bees does everything from selling hives and queen bees, to running beekeeping workshops and classes, to retailing honey and bee-related products. Based in Oxford, New York, the business began in 1978 with two of his beehives that Kutik received as his Christmas presents. As his interest in bees grew, he learned by following the visits of New York state bee inspectors.

“He had to remove the honey to examine the brood,” said Kutik. “One of the commercial apiaries was in the woods and the bees had to fly over the canopy. At that point, I said, ‘I’m going to be a commercial beekeeper.'”

A common question he gets is, “Do you get stung often?” he replies: They found a gap in their armor. ”


Chuck Kutik, who lives in Oxford, New York, has been beekeeping for about 50 years.

Kutik has developed a resistance to stings and is usually not too bothered by stings, he said.

Over the last three years, the bee industry has been in a difficult situation and the honey harvest has been sluggish. Kutik typically harvests 900,000 pounds of honey a year, but lately he’s been struggling to reach 500,000 pounds.

“A Cornell University study shows that honey production in New York is steadily declining,” says Kutik. “Whatever it is, it certainly affects us.”

The main source of income for the business is pollination services. According to Kutik, two-thirds of U.S. commercial bees pollinate trees that are part of California’s sizable almond industry from mid-February until mid-March or late March. I work in California for

He works with a middleman who distributes 400 hives between 3 and 5 trucks. Rising trucking costs are hurting his business. It used to cost $14,000 round trip, he said. Last year he was $22,000, and this year he’s closer to $24,000. Due to the almond surplus, the industry set the price, so the fees he receives for pollination decreased. Kutik has to pay commissions to brokers, which eats into his profits, he said.

Kutik also buys tons of corn syrup for the tankers to help keep the queen bees healthy in laying eggs. Previously she was $5,000, but jumped to $18,000.

Beekeeping also presents challenges related to bee longevity and bee health. Pesticide use has always been an issue affecting bees.

“We do a lot of blueberry pollination,” said Kutik. “Fungicide is being sprayed. You have to take a certain amount of responsibility when you do pollination, the farmers have to survive too.”


Kutik’s Everything Bees sells many honey and bee-based products.

He said spraying at night helps because bees are less active at night.

The Varroa tick was also a big challenge. These pests bite into the bee’s exoskeleton, leaving them vulnerable to the virus. Acaricides can knock out ticks, but untreated beekeeping can also reduce tick numbers. . Drone combs have large holes and are attractive to drones. Ticks seem to prefer drones to worker bees.

“Pull out the drone comb, cut off the capping, and knock out the bees,” Kutik said. “You pull the tick out of there.”

He was previously able to tolerate 10 ticks out of 300 bees. However, the current threshold is 2-3. At that point, the mites’ effects have worsened, and they need to be treated.

Another problem in the bee business is the shortage of wildflowers that occurs when farmers clear hedgerows and other areas where wildflowers normally thrive.

“One of the worst things that can happen to bees is lack of food,” says Kutik. Ethanol has taken over millions of acres of production for bee feed as pasture and hay grounds (changed) to corn grounds. ) and may affect hives.

Despite the challenges, he loves working with the bees.

Kutik has four branches of the beekeeping business. Kutik’s Everything Bees is a retail side that offers educational business classes and outreach. Kutik’s Honey Farm is a honey packaging business that offers wholesale and private label packaging. Kutik’s pollination service provides pollination and honey making. Kutik’s Nucs and Queens provides wholesalers with nuc (small hives with 5 frames), queen bees and beekeeping equipment.


Beeswax candles are one of the products Kutik’s Everything Bees sells.

All his bees overwinter in Manning, South Carolina by mid-November. There the maple blooms in his January and Kutik’s beehive can get a head start.

At the Oxford retail store, customer attractions include a waterfall surrounded by bees and a six-sided observation hive that people can walk inside.

Kutik hopes to eventually open a mead tasting room at the farm store. He also wants to expand the pollinator garden at the retail site.

He also plans to expand Queen sales in 2023.

He credits his wife Karen for supporting his work. The couple have two sons and a daughter.


One of Kutik’s busy bees is looking for flowers on the farm.

Kutik, 70, has business partners, including his niece Lindsey Moroch. He has about 12 employees in his four branches of the business, and from January through mid-November he employs 19 of his H-2A temporary farm workers. .

“That allowed us to grow,” says Kutik. “Without that help, we wouldn’t have been so successful.”

He meets many beekeepers who are interested in purchasing hives. he asks them why. He tells them that if he gets the honey himself, it is much cheaper to buy from a local beekeeper.

“If they want a hive as a hobby, get your hands in there and enjoy the bees. They don’t have to worry about making honey,” he said.

A single frame of nuc and equipment will cost you around $300-400. But a 60-pound bucket of honey is $200. If a bee dies (which is not uncommon), keepers will have to put an additional $150 to $200 into the investment.

“We joined because we love doing it,” says Kutik. “We didn’t say we became beekeepers because it would make money. There are many businesses that can make more money. God gave us the desire to do it. The Bible says we need to work.” If it’s something you really love doing, then you’re really blessed.”

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