Connect
To Top

Meet Nikki Morgan of Backyard Bees in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Morgan.

Nikki, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I learned about Backyard Bees when I got an email that they were looking for an intern. Being that I was an Environmental Science and Policy student at Chapman University, I thought it would be an interesting way to get a few credits. On my first day in fall of 2015, I remember picking fruits from her trees and learning about the business. Once the internship was finished I was still interested in helping and she hired me part-time. I began taking on more responsibility within the company when we got asked to be a vendor at the Orange Homegrown Farmer’s Market. Not only was I in charge of setting up and selling at the market, but I became in charge of making sure we had honey and products ready for each weekend. During this time, I was also learning how to beekeep and reading books on honeybee behavior. At this point over four years later, I manage approximately 100 hives within the county, do product delivery, and sell at the market almost completely by myself. While my boss, Janet Andrews, owns the company, I am in charge of the day-to-day operations.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The evolution to the position I am in now was gradual but direct as if this was where I was meant to be. It has proved to be a perfect fit for my personality and lifestyle. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t difficult days. While I was still relatively new to beekeeping, I removed my suit too early and got stung on the ear after a bee got stuck in my hair. I broke out in hives down to my waist and swelled more than expected. My boss thought I quit that day after hearing about how I reacted. I came back and told her that I’m not going anywhere and since then I’ve learned to be more careful after each new sting. Every so often, a rescue will be exceptionally difficult or I’ll lose a hive for unknown reasons, but each setback only teaches me how to improve my craft, no matter how discouraging it may be in the moment.

Please tell us about Backyard Bees.
Backyard Bees focuses on the sale of Orange County local, raw honey and beeswax products handmade in Janet’s backyard. We are unique in that all 100 of our hives were acquired through the live rescue and relocation of bees that would have otherwise been exterminated. I have rescued bees from everything, including water meter boxes, birdhouses, and even under a shipping container! One of the most fulfilling parts of our job is giving tours of the honey house to homeschool groups and Girl/Boy Scout troops; we explore the garden, let them feed the chickens, taste honey, and explain the importance of bees to our environment. It makes me so happy to see how excited the children (and parents) are find a new love for bees! I’m proud to be involved in every step of the honey and skincare production so that when someone asks me a question I can easily give an answer and make them confident that they’re getting the high-quality product they expect.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I remember the first time I visited my grandparent’s home in Ennis, Montana at around nine years old. Ever since then, we have made the 18-hour drive almost every summer to take a break and spend time with the family outdoors. I love the early mornings with the magpies and late nights where you can see all the stars. We have driven through Yellowstone, toured beautiful caverns, and even white water rafted, but with all the adventures we have had, nothing will beat relaxing in the living room with a book or knitting project.

Pricing:

  • Tour group (up to 10 kids) – $100
  • Tour group (up to 15 kids) – $150
  • Body Cream – $10
  • Bee Balm – $10
  • Lip Dew – $3
  • Sunscreen – $12
  • Soap – $5

Contact Info:

  • Website: backyardbees.net
  • Phone: 7145015944
  • Email: jansbees@aol.com
  • Instagram: @backyard_bees
  • Facebook: @backyardbeeshoney


Image Credit:

Tori Matthews Photography

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in