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WWIA tours honey plant during symposium

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

As a group of ladies gathered in the main building of a local family business in Worland, the sweet smell of honey floated in the air. 

On Nov. 9, Wyoming Women in Ag (WWIA) Symposium attendees received a warm welcome at Bryant Honey for a private tour, which was part of the 2023 WWIA Symposium.

Today, the family business manages thousands of honey bee colonies, producing half a million gallons of honey each year, making it the largest producer in the state.

Generational beekeepers

In 1915, H.E. Bryant started Bryant Honey Company with one mission in mind – to produce Wyoming’s best tasting honey. 

“With each generation, a little more was added to the family business, and we created a sustainable honey business,” stated Brady Bryant, a fifth-generation bee team member.

In the beginning, the Bryant farm started with 50 honey bee colonies and by 1980 Robert Bryant pushed the family business to over 1,000 colonies, creating a full-scale commercial honey bee production. 

Don and Bobby Bryant, fourth-generation producers, expanded into six counties and managed nearly 5,000 colonies around the state. 

Bryant Honey has always focused on honey production and colony winterization, but around the early 2000s, they sought out new territory.

“We emerged into a new market – migratory beekeeping in the Central Valley of California, the booming almond industry,” Brady added. “Almond trees became an important source of pollen and the Bryant familyʼs survival.”

Over the years, Bryant Honey has continued their growth with some of the largest nut producers in the world and have over 10,000 healthy colonies of bees, collecting honey in 14 counties in Wyoming. 

Bryant Honey has been able to diversify their honey and pollination efforts, creating new territories for their bees to spread their wings in.

“In 2003, my brother Brandon and I created 307 Honey and added a queen breeding program,” Brady explained.

The Bryant family is committed to improving the family’s honey bee colony health and continue to promote sustainability, allowing the family business to blossom.

The life of a Bryant bee

The Bryant team works hard daily to ensure their bees are happy and colonies are healthy.

“During summer months, the bees are set out into smaller locations around Wyoming, pollinating and collecting honey off of alfalfa and clover fields,” Brady explained. “After the summer honey season is finished in Wyoming – around late September – the bees start transitioning into their winter phase.” 

The queen bee starts laying fewer eggs as fall progresses, creating a smaller colony size where the bees store as much honey as they can so they have enough for winter. 

Brady said, “Over the winter, the bees are trucked to Idaho and stored in cold climate sheds for the winter phase, which gives bees a break from outside environmental risks.”

“The bees are stored in a building kept at a constant 38 degrees Fahrenheit with fresh air blowing through, which allows the bees to stay cool and rest their hard-working bodies for a couple of months,” he expressed. “By late January, the bees are ready to come out of storage and will be sent off to pollinate out West.”

The bees start their journey in the Central Valley of California and will pollinate almonds from Feb. 15 to March 15, then the bees are trucked up north to Washington to pollinate apples. 

Bryant bees pollinate for about two weeks before heading back to Wyoming to prepare for the honey season.

To end the tour, Brady showed WWIA visitors how the production plant operates and allowed them to sample their honey.

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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