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Video CloseUp: South County Honey—URI Alumnus Finds a Sweet Calling

Video: Jeff McGuire tending his hives at Nancy and George Barusso’s Goose Pond Farm in West Kingston, R.I.

Jeff McGuire ’86 owns and operates South County Honey with his wife, Meg McGuire ’89, M.A. ’93, and their two daughters. Jeff is a firefighter in Warwick, R.I. and Meg is a middle-school teacher in South Kingstown, so South County Honey is a time-consuming second job for both. They have hives throughout South Kingstown, all of which must be tended and harvested regularly. They sell their honey and beeswax products at local farmer’s markets and farm stands. But it is a labor of love for the whole family.

Jeff knows his art. He knows not just how to use the smoker to calm the bees before checking the hives, but also how to move around them and how to slide the frames out of the hives so as not to hurt the bees. He is happy to have a conversation about bee sting therapy or hive collapse, knows which flowers and crops the bees are pollinating at a particular time of year, and can explain the differences in flavor between spring, summer, and autumn honey. Jeff is a past president of the Rhode Island Beekeeper’s Association and has taught beekeeping at URI’s Cooperative Extension.

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