MEET Doug Remschneider
Remschneider Honey Farm founder Doug Remschneider made the transition from award-winning glass artist to beekeeper in 2009 when the economy shifted. Doug, who had been had been reading about bees and the decrease of the bee population, was considering beekeeping as a hobby in order to pollinate a few fruit trees and enhance his wife's flower garden. The dilemma over what to do in order to make up for loss revenue always resulted in the comment, “You can't eat a glass bead or a glass sculpture.” Then came the Remschneider's epiphany--”You can eat honey!” And so it begins.
Doug ordered a three pound package of bees from Georgia, picked it up at the post office and placed it proudly in the freshly painted white boxes—he was mesmerized by the harmonious relationship of the colony and their selfless pursuit of preservation. But, he wanted more, so Doug found beekeepers in central Wisconsin who were selling nucs (short for nucleus: a queen, 5 frames of brood and 10,000 bees in a little box) and he reserved two of them for pick up. After asking his wife Julie if she was up for a road trip, Doug explained that he wanted to travel 350 miles to pick up more bees and they were off...the excitement over gathering more companions for our Georgia bees propelled us north through both Chicago and Milwaukee traffic.
Returning home to Valparaiso, Doug and Julie kept bees along the west side of their property. The hives are nestled between two small sets of locust trees, and they receive both morning and afternoon sun. The first year three hives were maintained and the honey was poured into bottles in the kitchen after being extracted from the hives. The second year Doug and Julie traveled to Wisconsin again for bees and this time returned with 25 nucs—there was no turning back now. With a car full of bees, Doug and Julie headed home to place their new employees in bee yard. The weather conditions produced the biggest bloom of the black locust trees in over 5 years, and the result was a light, sweet spring honey. When Doug started selling his home-extracted spring honey at the local farmers' market in 2010, people relished the purity of the sweetness, and the popularity of the light honey spread quickly.
Doug's passion has blossomed into a business, in the spring of 2011 he canceled his largest glass show and put all his energy into Remschneider Honey Farm. He took over half of the kitchen and then the entire garage, which became the “honey house” where he would process all of the honey. Currently, Remschneider Honey Farm manufactures honey, creamed honey, habanero-infused honey, honey sticks and comb honey. Doug marvels at the bees and their industrious endeavors saying that working with the bees is like “taking a walk in nature with God at your side.”