Photo Credit: Chris Schad

What We Believe

The Bee Shed is the first beekeeping operation in Minnesota to define their corporate structure as a Specific Benefit Corporation (SBC). This structure enables a business to legally and publicly declare that their business decisions will contemplate public good as well as profit, making a commitment to deliberately and transparently advance a specific public good. 


What this means

We are committed to putting some of our time and our financial resources to something other than the bottom line:

1) The promotion and development of pollinator habitat for sustainable food production.


2) The education of the public at large about the importance of bees and pollinator habitat.


3) The mentorship of new or novice beekeepers, including youth and underserved populations.

Thanks to your support, our 2017 Annual Report is full of pollinator-supporting activities. Here are the highlights:

  • Traveled nearly 900 miles to make 16 presentations on bees, pollinators, and habitat restoration to a combined audience of nearly 700 people.

  • Taught 13 beekeeping classes in 6 regional communities to nearly 150 new beekeepers.

  • Personally mentored several new beekeepers with hands-on help.

  • Gave beekeeping tips to elementary school students at Quarry Hill Nature Center.

  • Shared native prairie wildflower seeds with landowners to plant on their property.

  • Donated more than $1,500 of beekeeping equipment for education programs and scholarships.

  • Donated more than $200 of honey products to various fundraisers in the region.

  • Contracted with PossAbilities to construct our hives, thus giving employment to those with developmental disabilities.

At The Bee Shed, We Have Two Principals That Guide Our Operation​

First - Native food sources are the best food sources. All of our yards are adjacent to native prairie wildflower sites or sizeable acreages of woodlands. We do not rely on clover, sunflower, safflower, soybean, canola or other agricultural plantings for nectar or pollen production. Native flowers and wooded lots provide a wide variety of nectar and pollen sources that are available across the entire growing season. Not only does this approach protect the honeybees from a shortage of forage throughout the season, it provides them with a diverse diet of high quality foods.

Second - Stay plugged into the latest peer-reviewed scientific studies to guide our beekeeping practices. We resist the urge to get caught up in either 1) sensational but unsubstantiated hyperbole; or 2) "because we've always done it this way" kinds of activities. The world in which bees live is changing, beekeeping practices must adapt to these changes, and The Bee Shed is committed to adopting best practices where the outcomes support the change.  


Chris Schad

Chris is a biologist by training, with several peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals. Several years ago he turned his attention to prairie restoration and other ways to support local pollinators such as honey bees. He manages bees on his rural Rochester, MN property plus on other sites in the region.

John Shonyo

John has been beekeeping since 2008 in Oronoco Township. Up until the merger with The Bee Shed in 2015 he owned and operated Bee’s Knees Honey Farm. He has been a honey bee advocate giving presentations to community groups, schools, and service organizations about how important the honey bee is to our food supply and what people can do to help keep a healthy bee population.

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© 2019 The Bee Shed, SBC

Rochester, MN 

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