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Sugar Bottom Farm – Ovapa, WV
In 2014 Sugar Bottom Farm started just outside the little town of Ovapa, West Virginia with two bee hives and first-generation farmers with a lot to learn. What Eric Grandon, wife Mary, and daughter Abigail lacked in knowledge, they made up for with hard work and a passion for honey bees.
The farm had begun as a way to combat stressors associated with Eric’s war deployments during his 20 year career with the US Army. They started producing molasses as part of the Veterans and Warrior to Agriculture program in WV. As the farm developed they added honey bees, produce, and layers to their line to help diversify their products. They had setbacks, like a 1000-year flood and a fire, but led by a disabled veteran of six tours, they didn’t give up.Eric Grandon is the go-to guy when it comes to anything honey bees, and he loves to share the knowledge he has gained. Since the start of his bee venture in 2014, he has amassed a vast knowledge of honey bees and honey production and loves to share his knowledge with others. Eric currently serves as the County Committee Member at the District’s Farm Service Agency representing Clay county. He has done numerous local, state, national, and international interviews with PBS, NPR, and the BBC. Eric has also been the focus of making 4 documentaries having just finished one recently from Zendesk entitled Eric and the Bees which focuses on his work with other Veterans with PTSD and using beekeeping as an alternative therapy.