Inspecting the hives at Killer Bees Honey Bee Farm

HAPPY BEES, CHEMICAL FREE — Killer Bees Honey Bee Farm keeps its bees happy and healthy. Pictured is beekeeper Jennifer Harper showing tour-goers the intricacies of the hive. 

As many readers know, I spent most of my career in advertising, writing about everything from Beechcraft airplanes to Budweiser beer. It was a great career, but looking back on some of the products I got to ‘shine a light on,’ I have some regrets.

For instance, for a couple years early on in my career, I wrote print ads and television commercials for Monsanto — the chemical company that gave us an infamously effective and environmentally toxic weed killer.

At the time, none of us who worked on that account knew just how poisonous products with Glyphosate could be and how tragic a long-term effect it could have on the environment. All we knew is that those products killed weeds, and weeds were a nemesis to farmers because they reduced crop yields.

Boy-howdy, do we know better now — now that bees and other pollinators are in such decline that those chemicals could threaten our very survival as human beings.

Honeybees, probably the most well-known pollinator, are credited with pollinating much of the food we eat. They are considered the most important insect known to humans. Berries, pears, apples, citrus, melons, peas, and beans are just a few of the foods that would not exist without honeybees. In fact, about one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by honey bees, and a lot of that food is critical nourishment for animals — many of which, we human beings like to eat.

And while we’re on the subject, let’s not forget honey itself— perhaps nature’s most perfect food.

Thankfully, there are bee-keepers and people who want to ‘save our pollinators,’ and care about keeping bees free from harmful chemicals. 

Here in the mountains, we visited an apiary that has found a way to keep its bees free from harmful chemicals — naturally.

Sean Collinsworth and Denise Altay are co-owners of Killer Bees Honey Bee Farm — a one-of-a-kind, mountain-top apiary, located high in the Pisgah Forest, at the pinnacle of Walnut Cove Mountain. 

It’s isolated, to be sure. In fact, Killer Bees Honey Bee Farm is surrounded by 512,000 farm-free acres. As a result, Killer Bees Honey shows “NT” (no trace) of Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) or any other harmful agrichemicals, for that matter.

Killer Bees Honey is producing some of the purest honey on planet earth, and Collinsworth is passionate about educating the public about the nature and plight honeybees. 

Killer Bees Honey Bee Farm hosts educational tours and tastings of Killer Bees Honey at their mountaintop hideaway near Lake Toxaway — complete with up-close-and-personal look at the hives.

It’s a memorable tour, full of education, fun and participation, as guests suit up to inspect the hives, then later taste the luscious, artisanal honey.

For information on the Killer Bees Honey Bee Farm, visit

In the meantime, think twice before you use harmful chemicals.

Paul Viau is an award-winning creative director, with a 30-year career in advertising and marketing. Originally from Denver, Colorado, he met his wife, Carol, when they worked for rival advertising agencies in Miami, Florida. They became permanent residents of Haywood County in 2008 and reside in Waynesville. 

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