Carol and Steven MacLaury started out with one hive of honeybees as a hobby 11 years ago, then turned the hobby into a retirement project. They now keep 16 to 32 hives, “depending on how many survive the winter,” Carol says. “We try to treat our bees gently, we don’t move them around,” she says, although most of the hives stay on a farm elsewhere in Weston, safe from bears.
Steve’s grandfather was a beekeeper in Canada. Steve decided to try it, and since then Carol has branched out with honey-based products (soaps, candles, granola, ornaments and bayberry beeswax candles for the holidays).
Carol likes to call their honey “Vermont in a jar.” Honey is unique to the area where bees gather nectar. Peabody Mountain bees forage from wildflowers such as dandelions, goldenrod, knotweed, white clover, some garden perennials, lavender and other herbs, and any berry or fruit tree blossom, often traveling up to 3-5 miles.
Peabody Mountain Apiaries does not sell to walk-in customers. Wholesale outlets for their honey products include the Weston Marketplace, the Garden Café and Restaurant in Londonderry, and Hildene in Manchester. They also provide a garden-grown, 10-variety summer lettuce mix, and four varieties of raspberries and blueberries to the Inn at Weston and the Garden Cafe. Most of the time they ship or fill pre-orders.