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HoneyGirl Honey
HoneyGirl Honey first opened its doors for business in January of 2009 along the mighty Mississippi River in Northwest Illinois, although its roots date back many years before that on the other side of the river. The owner of HoneyGirl Honey, Abby Koch-Huizenga, learned beekeeping from her father, Steve Koch, at a very young age. Steve began keeping bees in 1972 and started his owned business named The Bee Plantation in Tama County, Iowa. From a young age, Abby would help with the honey house duties like pouring honey and building frames. Eventually she would go out to the bee yards with Steve to operate the smoker and hold frames. Her dad taught her to recognize brood, honey, and pollen in the comb. She learned to spot the queen bee, worker bees, and drones. Later on she learned the different tasks required to keep bees and how to recognize when something is wrong with bees and how to correct issues.
After college, Abby settled in Fulton, Illinois, and Steve maintained some beehives in that area. He would call on her to check on these bees when he was unable to travel so she got to experience beekeeping independently. It was after a trip to California to buy packaged bees with her dad in 2007 that Abby recognized a passion for beekeeping that she had not seen before. What started as 5 hives of her own quickly grew to over 100 hives in and around Whiteside County, Illinois.
In 2010 she married Greg Huizenga. While Greg's own passion is drag racing, he was immediately interested in the bees and eager to learn about them. Now Greg joins Abby in the bee yards and Abby joins Greg at the race track. Abby and Greg continue to expand HoneyGirl Honey.