Old Florida Bee Myakka City, Florida

Going from hunches to facts with Jeremy Ham

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Jeremy Ham
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Old Florida Bee (OFB) is a growing honey operation based in Myakka City, Florida, with a six person team led by owner and operator Jeremy Ham.



Primary Revenue Sources

Honey production, bee sales, pollination


Myakka City, Florida

Number of hives


Key Use Cases

Queenline savings

Better team management

Treatment efficacy



Old Florida Bee (OFB) is a growing honey operation based in Myakka City, Florida, with a six person team led by owner and operator Jeremy Ham. OFB runs pollination services for citrus, berries in the spring, honey production through the summer, and they sell single, double, and story and a half bee hives to other beekeepers throughout the year. In 2022, OFB started using Nectar’s operating system when Ham was looking for a solution that could help him assess the quality of his queens. Gradually, Jeremy realized that Nectar could help him continually improve his operations overall, an approach that “fits [his] personality, in bees and life.” With Nectar’s help, OFB has leveraged its data to optimize their queen sourcing, developed better systems for team management, and simplified the process of submitting for ELAP. 

When it comes to bees, you're never going to ever be perfect, but it doesn't mean you can’t strive for it. Nectar is helping me be way more efficient and do things better.

Jeremy Ham

Owner at Old Florida Bees

Measuring queen performance 

Like most mid-size beekeepers, OFB is regularly tasked with introducing new queens into his hives when making repairs. Queens are a significant expense, making up around 15% of its operation costs. In 2022, after a particularly difficult season, Ham was looking to increase the acceptance rate of his queens, by tracking his queens performance on a hive basis. Specifically, he wanted to know if leaving the hive queenless for a short period of time after removing old queens would increase the acceptance rate of new queens, or if it made no difference

That’s when he turned to Nectar. Within two months, he found that, on average, his hives were getting 55% acceptance rates when his team re-queened right away. But if he left the hive queenless for 24-36 hours before requeening, the rate of queen acceptance increased to 90%, with no other major adjustments. “So it was worth our time to wait,” Ham said. 

The true benefit of this adjustment, Ham says, is visible “if you extrapolate to, say, 1,000 repairs.” At that level, if Nectar has increased the acceptance rate from 55% to 90%, that’s 350 queens at $25 per queen—or $8,750 in savings. “And you’re kind of like, ‘Oh, I just saved that money by subtraction,” Ham says. 

The initial success of the queen study—and its subsequent cost savings—inspired Ham to look for other ways Nectar could help him see things that couldn't be measured with a notebook alone.

Going from hunches to facts

Ham started by evaluating his queen suppliers. “What if there's a queen producer that, every 200 or 300 queens, gives 100 bad ones, but I didn't know it?” Ham said. “With Nectar, we can track that. So just on queen performance alone, if I can improve via Nectar then that’s more than paid for the app.” 

Another area of improvement is pollination. Nectar can help pinpoint mortality rates by individual plots of land. “If you can say, ‘Drop A1 is historically showing way more losses than the other drops, then I can communicate that to my grower,” he says. They might respond by asking if they’re getting more drift exposure from chemical spray. “So everyone improves. We all get a little better.”

A similar approach can be taken with both honey production and mite treatment. This coming season, Ham plans to ask Nectar’s customer service team for performance analysis on a yard by yard level. “We’ll probably run a report saying, ‘show me the yards that I marked as having good honey, or good queens, etc. Did we do anything different there management-wise?” With Nectar, it’s possible to spot the patterns and trends that he wouldn’t be able to otherwise notice.

Better team management

Above all, Ham says, Nectar has been a practical tool for managing his employees. With Nectar, Ham receives a daily report with a complete log of all the work completed the previous day, broken down by each of his employees.“I get my info and I can say, ‘Okay, this is what the guys found yesterday. This is how it is. And I like that. It tells you who scanned what. So now everyone's honest.”

The GPS function is another way that Nectar has helped Ham coordinate with his team. “Any new drop we have, I can just add that GPS and then I don't have to be there,” Ham says. “I can explain it a little bit, like where exactly the placement of the bees needs to go. But I don't have to necessarily show them. They can just pull it up on the map.” “I can't be everywhere all the time,” Ham says. “So now that every one of my crew has the Nectar app, I can still have my finger on the pulse of the operation without me physically being there all the time.”

Ham also loves that Nectar is available in Spanish. “It makes everything easy to use,” he says. “My team can see, ‘Okay, this is what we scanned. Look how much honey this one has.” “We all want to see a number,” Ham says, so “that's where it's helped out a lot.”


Nectar is also helping Ham produce ELAP reports. While he still pays someone to coordinate with the FSA, Nectar “makes it easier for me, and for him.” 

“Those ELAP reports have helped a bunch," Ham says. “They just automate it. That's huge.” Any time there’s a loss, or you add more hives, you scan it, “and then I just run the report from whatever date I want,” Ham says. “And man, it's done.” “Nectar’s giving us exactly what the FSA is requiring,” freeing up his brain space to focus on the bees while the administrative work is automated away. 

Growing with Nectar 

As OFB moves into its second season with Nectar, Ham is hoping that having more data will help him go further. “If I'm doing something that I'm not aware of, the more data the better. The data tells me what my trends are and when I didn't even know it.”

“The bees are smarter than we are,” Ham says. “We can't control the weather. But the more data you have, the better off you are. Nectar helps me see all those little things that you couldn't judge before.”

I can't be everywhere all the time. So now that every one of my crew has the Nectar app, I can still have my finger on the pulse of the operation without me physically being there all the time.

Jeremy Ham, Owner at Old Florida Bees

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