As a third-generation beekeeper, Apollo Beach resident Colby Sadler, owner of Sadler Honey Farm LLC, now located in Ruskin, understands all the efforts that takes place to maintain his farm. Colby grew up around bees since his dad, Michael Sadler, and grandfather, Stoney Sadler, were beekeepers. The Sadlers are true local Florida beekeepers, as it has been in the family for 52 years.
In 2010, Colby established Sadler Honey Farm LLC. For several years, he had worked in his dad’s shop in Lakeland. In 2019, Sadler Honey Farm built a brand-new facility and moved to Ruskin on five acres of land to be closer to the coast. It is a commercial wholesale farm that produces between 400 to 500 drums of honey a year with 2,000 hives on-site. Besides Florida, Sadler Honey Farm distributes its honey across the United States in places such as Kansas, Colorado and more.
Colby mentioned what makes Sadler Honey Farm unique: “With our climate being subtropical and tropical, the bees here do not really leave the state as we keep them here year-round.”
Stoney lived in Perry, Florida and moved to Lakeland when he was around 7 years old. In 1970, he started beekeeping, and he passed away in 2003. Colby’s dad took over the farm that year and opened Bee-Haven Honey Farm Inc. in Central Florida.
Colby is part of the American Honey Producers Association as well as the American Beekeeping Federation. Those interested in bees can reach out to their local beekeeping committees. Colby will do his best to keep his family’s legacy alive. With that in mind, the pollinators are struggling due to the ecosystem being destroyed from rapid development. The future of it is uncertain.
“Overall, always support your local farmers, beekeepers and ag as much as possible,” Colby said. “To add, visit farmers markets too,” he stated.
If there is an opportunity for people to place bees onto their property or to purchase honey, call Colby Sadler at 863-860-8020.