Before we were Dakota Honey Co, three brothers created a family owned operation in Michigan in 1956... ‍
After years of struggling to grow their production, the original owners studied ecological maps and determined they would find success in South Central South Dakota. They eventually relocated their entire business (building materials and all by train!) to Winner, South Dakota. Though it was a risky decision, their hard work and dedication greatly paid off. After running a successful business for over 50 years, my father (Loren) purchased the now established operation along with two other business partners. They ran and operated the bee farm for 30 years until Zach Pederson was old enough to start taking over his share of the business.‍
Zach Pederson and Loren Pederson in bee suits.Wearing a swarm of bees on bee suits.Holding a 1 lb container of honey up to the sun.Rheanna Pederson pulling a frame from a bee hive.
Zach Pederson posing next to bee hives.A field of bee hives at sunrise in South Dakota.Loren Pederson tending to his hives at sunset.
Today, we maintain over 3,000 hives across a 1,000 square miles radius.
We are grateful for the diverse ecosystem our area has to offer, which allows our bees to produce an incredibly light, full flavored honey that has a truly unique taste you have to try to believe. So, what happens during the cold months in South Dakota? We winter our hives in sunny California during the chilly months when it’s too cold for honey production. In the early spring, our bees are essential workers in the almond and citrus orchards that span across the San Joaquin Valley in Central California.
The team in a California orchard.Bees pollinating pink blossoms.Dakota Honey bee hives in California orchard.
A row of blossoming trees in an orchard.Dakota Honey bee hives in California orchard.
Zach and Rheanna Pederson posing together.
So, who are the busy bees running the operation?
Dakota Honey Company consists of owners Zach and Rheanna Pederson, along with their trusty team of hardworking friends. We're a small, family-oriented operation doing the work of many! Our days are spent driving from various locations around South Central South Dakota to maintain the health and wellness of our hives. A typical day begins around 6am and can go well into the late evening during summer months. In addition to our famous honey, we also produce beeswax candles and homemade BBQ sauce.