Hive to Jar, The Sweet Story of Adee Honey Farms

Richard Adee with an open bee hive in the field

After years of primarily selling to the wholesale market, Adee Honey Farms is exploding with ideas as it expands its retail line to meet the needs and wants of consumers. And boy, do we want them.

But to get to this exciting point in their operation, the Adee family has endured loss and challenges much like many agricultural businesses. In this week’s episode of Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens, Marla Hoyer, founder Richard Adee’s daughter, and Sarah Hauge, Richard’s granddaughter, join me to share their story. His sons Bret and Kelvin are also part of the family business.

Kelvin, Marla, Sarah and Richard from Adee Honey Farms
Kelvin Adee, Marla Hoyer, Sarah Hauge and Richard Adee from Adee Honey Farms (not pictured Bret Adee)

So that we get the full picture, we go way back even before Richard and his brother Stanley purchased the Bruce, South Dakota honey operation of about 1,000 honeybee colonies in 1957.

As times were lean in the 1930s, their father, Vernon, and his brothers discovered the beekeeping business as an income supplement to their school teaching careers in Kansas.


“God gave us a little miracle product right there and we’ve been fortunate enough to work with it.”

marla hoyer

As the family celebrates 66 years of growth, Adee now cares for close to 100,000 honeybee colonies across South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana.

bee hive with bees

These mighty workers put on a lot of miles because they also journey to pollinate almonds in California and apple orchards in Washington.

Richard Adee

honey and bees on a hive

Listen to this podcast episode wherever you get your shows, or listen in the Spotify player below.

Podcast Episode 31

Marla and Sarah jam-packed this episode with topics like Bruce Honey Days, how the color of your honey affects the flavor of the dish you are making, and tips for substituting the bee bounty for sugar, maple syrup and corn syrups.

bee hives in an Adee Honey Farms facility

Sarah shares about the company’s rebranding project with Lawrence & Schiller and adding new merch like hats, totes, hoodies, stickers and T-shirts. Purchase it all on AdeeHoneyFarms.com. This hat is my favorite.

Plus, if you haven’t heard about honey sticks, candy, and creamed honey, here’s your chance.

And their new squeeze pouch…brilliant. I use it all the time because it’s easy to squeeze into my iced latte, drizzle on peanut butter and banana toast, and as Sarah shares—on her pepperoni pizza. If you need a really, really big fix, get their newly available 5-gallon pails of liquid gold.

Adee Honey Farms honey pouch

Additionally, you’ll learn why you should add honey to your first aid kit to sooth burns, and why you want to turn the bottles upside down and watch how the bubble flows through it. 

jar of Adee Honey
Adee Honey Farms jar (former logo)

We also cover a few health benefits and the healing power of honey, especially raw (which you can purchase at Adee), tips to enhancing your baking, and how to be a smart consumer when it comes to fraudulent honey. 

pouring honey into a jar
Richard Adee tending to his bees


Marla and Sarah wrap up the episode with a few recipes:

  • Mojito mocktails using a simple syrup made of honey
  • Sought-after fudge sauce. Sarah Hauge says, “This is an Adee Family favorite. But it’s not just the family that loves this recipe – it’s an entire community! In fact, we serve it every year during Honey Days (a local celebration in Bruce, SD during the last weekend in July) with some South Dakota State University vanilla ice cream. It is a crowd favorite!” If you really want to go old school, check out my dad’s homemade ice cream recipe.
  • Marla is so kind to share her grandma Mae Adee’s delicious apple crisp recipe.

After talking with Sarah and Marla, I want to play around with my Special K bar recipe and my tangled caramel peanut butter corn chips. And if Marla finds that banana bread recipe, I’ll be sure to add it here.

You might be interested in this post and episode about Bruce Honey Days. Mary and Russ Bjerke and Christianne Beringer also share a few recipes.

Finally, tune in next week to episode 32, which is the season 1 finale. Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens is available on Apple, Spotify, Pandora, Audible, Google Podcasts, iHeart, TuneIn Radio, and Amazon Music.

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Adee Honey Farms

Sweet wishes,


Great Grandma Mae Adee’s Delicious Apple Crisp

Staci at Random Sweets
Everyone will wonder why your apple crisp tastes better than anyone else's. Thank you, Adee family for sharing Great Grandma Mae's recipe.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 4 cups apples, pared and sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup Adee Honey
  • cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oatmeal, uncooked
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Place apple slices into a lightly buttered, shallow baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice and drizzle honey over the apples.
  • Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal. 
  • Add melted butter and mix until crumbly.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 375℉ (or until apples are tender).
Keyword 9×13 pan, apples, fall baking, honey, oatmeal

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

Sarah’s Mojito Mocktails

Staci at Random Sweets
Substitute honey for sugar in the simple syrup and you'll be sipping these 'til the sun don't shine.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American


Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup honey

Mojito Mocktail

  • 7-8 mint leaves
  • juice from ½ 1 of a lime
  • ¼ cup honey simple syrup
  • ¼ cup rum, optional
  • ice
  • Polar club soda, lime or plain


Simple Syrup

  • Combine in a saucepan and heat on medium to low heat until honey is dissolved.

Mojito Mocktail

  • In a cup, add the mint and lime. Muddle together, then add remaining ingredients. Add ice until glass is half full. Top the rest with club soda, stir & enjoy!
Keyword cocktail,, honey, Key lime, mint leaves, mocktail, rum

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

Honey of a Fudge Sauce

Staci at Random Sweets
A crowd favorite, Adee Honey Farms serves this fudge sauce over SDSU ice cream to the community during Bruce Honey Days.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup Adee Honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • OPTIONAL: Your favorite ice cream sundae toppings such as sunflower seeds, Oreo chunks, M&M, etc.


  • Melt butter and remove from heat.
  • Mix cocoa with cornstarch. Stir into butter.
  • Combine honey and water into chocolate mixture.
  • Heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  • Remove from heat. Add marshmallows and salt. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted.
  • Enjoy your honey fudge over your favorite vanilla ice cream. Feel free to add some yummy extras on top! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Keyword cocoa, honey, ice cream, mini marshmallows

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

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