Meet Foxhound Bee Company: Alabama’s First Beekeeping Store

Beekeeping
Adam Hickman, Owner of Foxhound Bee Company (Barton Perkins/BhamNow)

Foxhound Bee Company, located in Birmingham’s Hardware Park, is the only store in all of Alabama dedicated to supplying and educating hobbyist beekeepers. We visited the company this week and here’s the Buzz:

How it all started

Established by Adam Hickman, the current president of the Jefferson County Beekeeper Club, Foxhound Bee Company opened its storefront roughly a year ago.

Hickman grew up in Florida, and moved to Birmingham back in 2007; for around 10 years he worked for a variety of food magazines and test kitchens developing recipes. He started beekeeping as a hobby, inspired by his great-grandfather who was apparently an avid apiarist.

I didn’t really know him (Adam’s Great-Grandfather). He passed away when I was so young. After he passed away though, I saw some of his equipment, including this old smoker right here. I saw it in my family’s storage area, and basically asked what it was, I thought it was interesting and kind of kept that in the back of my mind for years. Until I got some more time, money and space. And then I started keeping bees. Just one hive, and I just kind of absolutely loved it. Absolutely loved it.

-Adam Hickman
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Foxhound Bee Company (Barton Perkins/BhamNow)

Hickman started keeping bees as a hobby. That eventually evolved into an e-commerce business where he sold beekeeping equipment from his house. That’s typically how many beekeepers wind up supporting their hobby, by getting good enough to advise others and sell both beekeeping equipment and services. While he was running his beekeeping side-business, Hickman was still working for food magazines and test kitchens but he decided to quit his job and open up a storefront location so he could focus on the beekeeping business full-time.

Foxhound Bee Company Today

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Foxhound Bee Company (Barton Perkins/BhamNow)

Today, Adam helps manage beehives all over Alabama and collects honey from locations such as:

  • Downtown Birmingham
  • Avondale
  • Homewood
  • Even Universities, residential homes, and businesses that want to have pollinators in the area

Foxhound Bee Company sells this honey, and honey from all over, labeled by both zipcode and location. So you know exactly where the honey comes from.

Foxhound Bee Company Products

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Adam Hickman, Foxhound Bee Company (Barton Perkins/BhamNow)

You can buy essentially everything a hobbyist beekeeper could want at Foxhound Bee Company including:

  • Beehive Boxes
  • Hive Frames
  • Books on Beekeeping
  • Beekeeping Suits
  • Beeswax
  • Beehive Nucs
  • and so much more!

But Foxhound prides itself on also providing classes for anyone even remotely interested in bees and beekeeping. These classes range from those geared toward hobbyists who want to take to first steps toward becoming Master Beekeepers, to public classes geared toward people who just want the opportunity to open up a hive and learn a bit more about bees. In these public classes, students get to sample over 2 dozen different kinds of honey from around the world and compare how they taste. Hickman notes that the public classes seem to be a popular spot for couples on first dates.

Being a Beekeeper in Alabama

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Foxhound Company (Barton Perkins/BhamNow)

Alabama is a state that consists primarily of hobbyist beekeepers. It’s mostly people in their backyards trying to figure out how to build a good colony, and harvest some delicious fresh honey. Mostly they try and learn through books, youtube videos, or even through friends who are also beekeepers. Foxhound Bee Company’s mission is to try and help and support these hobbyists by providing education, equipment, and advice to anyone who comes in and asks.

We’re not a jack of all trades. It’s not just anything bees, we don’t do bee removals. We recommend other people who do bee removals, but there are more important things that we do. We equip beekeepers with the supplies they need. And then also education. Half the beekeepers who come in here have questions about what to do, what equipment do I need? They show me pictures all the time of their hives and are like: Is this normal? So having somebody local to answer those questions is extremely helpful to to beekeepers in our area because people keep bees differently in Alabama than they do in Tennessee or Michigan.

-Adam Hickman

More than education though, Foxhound Bee Company has been able to build a community around itself for the Beekeepers of Alabama, and as the only beekeeping store in the state that community is likely to grow even larger.

Are you thinking about learning more about beekeeping? Give us a buzz at @BamaBuzz!

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Barton Perkins
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