When Carl Jackson of Corbin, Kentucky, started keeping bees, his more experienced friends told him to start with two hives and warned he’d be lucky to get any honey that first year. “But I got carried away and got four,” Jackson said. “It went smoother than most people would tell you. I also got 40 quarts of honey and that ignited me.”

Jackson’s motivation in developing new products such as the Crown Work Box was simple. “Bees are a big part of the foundation for our survival,” he said. “More than a third of the food you eat is because of bee pollination. As you get older, you realize just what in life has value and you want to pass it on down.”

Though he still works full-time in construction, he currently has 35 hives, spread out through the county with family and friends. “You can tell if they’re really friends if they let you put bees in their yards,” he said.

He’s often accompanied by one of his five grandchildren, the reason he began beekeeping a dozen years ago.

“Bees keep the grass green and the flowers blooming,” he said. “Having the pure and organic honey is always a plus as well. If we can keep this world green and growing for future generations with the help of some small little bees, then my job will have been well worth it.”