Growing up, there was no question what Mark Negley would be doing on a Saturday: going with his father to work bees. As a child, he wasn't very helpful, but he just wanted to spend time with his dad.
Mark eventually began carving his own path toward a career in science. He was dubbed the "King of Science Fair," having reached the State level of competition every year from 6th to 12th grade. Sure enough, he chose to major in chemical engineering at the University of Florida. He got a job, as a freshman, in a materials engineering lab and even conducted his own research. He was successful at college, but nearly every spring break and summer, he could be found in the Central Florida sun, working bees with his dad.
During a visit to Peru with a college group, Mark met a gardener who kept bees. The gardener asked him countless questions about beekeeping, and Mark passed along every bit of wisdom he'd learned from his father. (The elder Negley learned the craft from Bill Perry, a legendary East Coast beekeeper who, now in his 80s, owns over 4,000 hives.) Mark even pushed back his return trip to share his knowledge with beekeepers across the area.
Once back in Florida, Mark changed his major to Economics. The field was a departure from his experience in science and agriculture, but that was the point. He wanted to learn how to run a business because he decided he was going to grow his family's small beekeeping operation into a leader in the world of premium honey.
"Not that every kid grows up wanting to be a beekeeper, but I felt I would be wasting so much opportunity if I wasn’t involved in keeping bees," Mark said.
Fortunately, beekeeping always fulfilled Mark like no other work. Building with his hands, caring for the bees, collecting and bottling the rich, pure honey – at the end of the day, he could taste and see the fruit of his labor.
Naming the business can be one of the hardest tasks for an entrepreneur, but Mark knew exactly what to call this new venture: 'Negley and Son', a lasting tribute to his mentor and best friend, his dad.
Every bottle of Negley and Son Honey is part of our family story, so we produce it to be of the highest quality. To maintain our premium standards, we adhere to these values to guide our work everyday.
Focus. We choose to create just a few varietals of honey. This focus lets us pour the time and energy required to make our honey the best it can be.
Innovation. While we utilize proven traditional techniques, we also implement new technologies to give our bees the best environment possible. These innovations help us to collect honey cleanly and efficiently to maintain its purity.
Creativity. We focus on making a few premium products, but we also enjoy crafting original – and delicious – creations that tasters will love, like our Spicy Honey.
Organic growth. As a family operation, we're hands-on every step of the way. As Negley and Son grows, we will not outsource our beekeeping.
Environmental Responsibility. We use post-consumer paper and reusable/recyclable glass jars to minimize the use of natural resources. Instead of disposing our old honey supers, we repurpose them into functional art like shadow boxes and picture frames. And we use only organic acids for mite treatment, which doesn't allow varroa mites to build resistance.
Social Responsibility. We share our knowledge with beekeepers worldwide to provide their communities with an affordable, sustainable way to earn money. We regularly educate consumers about native bee flora and encourage them to plant it.
Economic Responsibility. We choose to use all U.S.-made components (honey, glass, lids, labels, boxes, seals), sourced from small businesses. All of our honey is bottled by hand to support the local economy by creating jobs.