Twelve years ago, Judy Wells was facing retirement after serving 43 years as a Registered Nurse. She yearned to find a way to remain productive, create meaningful relationships, and inspire younger generations to do great things. A life-long lover of learning, she has been particularly interested in helping the environment and helping children and adults learn something new.
Little did she know, she would find her new role (or hive, we should say) as a local beekeeper.
"After being a nurse for so long, I still want to help people, and I believe I can do that by encouraging them to eat honey because it's so good for your body. I also want to encourage children to become beekeepers because the existence of bees depends on future keepers."
She continues, "When I was a little girl, I would wake up on summer mornings, smell the Wisteria and look and see bees everywhere. Well, that's not true anymore, and you have to have beekeepers now for pollination."
For these reasons, Judy makes buying her Wells Lazy Acres honey a learning experience as well. At local events, she displays one of her bee colonies in a safe, contained space to demonstrate how each colony thrives with its queen bee. She offers gifts for children that remember "bee facts" when they return and hopes to inspire children, and specifically girls, to become beekeepers.
"The ratio of men to women who are beekeepers is drastic. There are not many women who want to be in the profession because of its dangerous nature. It hurts when you get stung, sure, but there's nothing better than seeing that liquid gold come out when you're extracting honey from the comb."
Judy extracts honey from three different locations around the Jones County area, supplying large gallons of her specialties: Black Clover honey and Wildflower honey.
Not only does Judy make honey, she uses her baking skills to create unconventional treats and goodies, such as honey cotton candy, gourmet lollipops, cinnamon rolls, and so much more.
Be sure to visit Judy's tent at Mississippi Made on March 12th!