FLINT (WJRT) (01/09/19) - Mike Herriman Jr. has a lot of workers on his staff.
Millions to be exact. One of his most important tasks as their boss is try to keep them busy.
"When they have a good flow of honey, where they're happy, they'll let me mess around with them and they don't bother me," Herriman said.
But sometimes when they get a little grumpy with him they sting.
"The first time I worked with the bees was with my brother-in-law on his farm and it just hooked us," Herriman said. "It just hooked us."
To say his knowledge of bees when he first started was limited would be an understatement. He said he knew "absolutely nothing, other than they made honey."
But the longtime Flint resident, along with his entire family, wanted to do something unique. It started when mom Trudy, a master gardener, took beekeeping class.
But after striking out a few times in cultivating their hives in the country, they decided to bring it home to the city's east side as part of their other business, Vern's Collision Shop on Davison Road.
"We've got this resource here, bring the bees into Flint. We can't do any worse than what we were doing out in the country," Herriman said. "This has been our best year ever."
H&H Pure Michigan Wild Flower Honey is a family run business with mom, dad, the kids and even grandkids that's been going strong for seven years.
"Total, we probably produced over the past seven years close to 5,000 pounds," Herriman said
"One of the nice things about a family business is when somebody brings in an interest to the family, we can work on and develop it and work it right along beside our business," said Mike Herriman Sr.
They've gained a lot of knowledge about the habits of bees since taking a dip in the honey business.
"It's just incredible the communication that goes on in a beehive," Herriman Sr. said.
This time of year is quiet for the family and the bees.
"They are just huddling up, waiting for spring," Herriman Jr. said.