Old Mill Honey Company
Steve Ellis is a commercial beekeeper and owner of Old Mill Honey Company in Barrett, MN, where he has managed 2,300 hives for over 40 years. In the winter, Mr. Ellis takes his bees to California to pollinate almond trees. Like other commercial beekeepers in the U.S., he has suffered dramatic losses of hives, which he attributes to the use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides in conventional agriculture and land management. He has worked successfully with other beekeepers, resulting in a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling in 2005 against the state and the International Paper Company for a spray program related to the U.S. Department of Energy Hybrid Poplar tree plantations and their use of Sevin XLR Plus insecticide. He has worked with the American Honey Producers Association and served as the secretary for the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, which represented both the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) and the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) on pesticide policy in the U.S. Mr. Ellis was appointed by Governor of Minnesota to serve on the Governor’s Pollinator Protection Committee as a representative of commercial beekeepers. He has since 2018 served on the board of the Pollinator Steward Council in his continued efforts to protect the bees.