The “Buzz” in Development







Did you know that Equity’s own Andy Johanni is also Equity’s onsite beekeeper? When Johanni isn’t busy putting together sweet deals for new development projects, he can be found dressed in beekeeper’s white, conducting a well orchestrated “honey production program” with a very active group of bees.

Johanni and his daughter Anneliese and family friend Tom Roberts took an Introduction to Beekeeping class at a local college last winter.  They then bought their bees from a Georgia vendor, built their beehives, purchased beekeeping gear and protective clothing, found a good spot on the Hilliard campus and began their beekeeping adventure last April.  They started with 20,000 bees, who are clearly overachievers like Johanni, as they produced 4 gallons of delicious honey in year one; most hives don’t produce anywhere near that much honey in first year production.  And boy did it taste great, I know, I got to test it right off the hive!  Some interesting bee facts that Johanni shared:

  1. You may have seen beekeepers use a “smoker”.  The smoke blocks the bee’s ability to communicate alarm in an emergency, so bees won’t swarm and sting.  The smoke also confuses them and makes them think there’s a fire so they go back into the hive.
  2. The Queen Bee lays 1200-1500 eggs per day after mating for 1-3 days with numerous drones (male bees). This happens every four years.
  3. The mating process isn’t too fun for the drones—not only do they die soon after, they lose their male reproductive organs in the process…truly an emasculating death experience.
  4. Our very own Jason Stumbo from ECS is also a beekeeper!

Future plans for the hives and the honey?  “I’d like to have 7-8 hives; I just started a new hive recently.  You’ll find “bee juice” (sugar water!) in my office fridge which I am using to ‘jumpstart’ this hive by providing a regular carb source for the bees,” explains Johanni.

My suggestion? Package it up and bring it along to Equity new prospect pitch meetings.  It’s sure to sweeten the deal and take the sting out of contract negotiations.