About Us

A little information about the folks behind BYBH! 

James Wilkes - Father of several children, husband to Shannon, and Son of Bob Wilkes.  James has owned bees since the year 2000 when his father brought him two hives; however, he grew up with bees in his backyard.  His father always had two or three hives behind the house even though they lived in town on less than half an acre.  James kept 3-5 hives in his backyard for five years until moving to a farm in 2005.  Since then he has had as few as 5 (a bad winter) and as many as 30.  He invites you to explore this fascinating hobby that is never boring and produces delicious honey.  In his spare time, James is also Chairman and Professor of Computer Science at Appalachian State University.

John Barry -  John lives with his wife, Molly, and numerous children near Boone, NC. He is a CPA and beekeeper. Thus, “tax season” is routinely followed by “bee season”. Inspired by a bee-keeping neighbor, John ordered his first package of bees about 15 years ago. When the bees arrived at the local Post Office, the woman on duty, with controlled urgency, requested that he come pick up his bees as soon as possible, as there was a hole in the screen and some of the bees were on the outside of the package; others were buzzing about the room. John suggested that she put a piece of tape over the hole to take care of the matter. When John arrived at the P.O. and examined the package, it looked as though there were as many bees outside as in. So much for John’s “piece of tape” solution. Thus began John’s beekeeping adventure.

Bob Wilkes - father of James Wilkes.  Papa Bob got his first package of bees through mail order from Sears around 1964, the year before James was born.   He has been keeping bees ever since with as many as 10-15 hives in the mid 90's.  He currently keeps a few in his own backyard, but also spends lots of time helping out our bee and other operations at Faith Mountain Farm.

Galen Wilkes - Oldest son of James who is learning to get comfortable around bees but sees the benefit of doing so.

Sullivan Wilkes - Second oldest son of James who is comfortable around bees and knows the benefit of doing so.