NEWBERRY, Mich. (WJMN) – Bees might be scary to some of us, but this farm in Newberry thinks differently.

A Newberry couple is making a difference through honey bees. Adam and Lacey Ingrao fell in love with bees and decided to start Bee Wise Farms.

“Well it’s been quite a journey for us, we started with our journey to beekeeping in 2009,” said Adam Ingrao, one of the owners of Bee Wise Farms. “I took a beekeeping class as an undergrad at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and it pretty much was the moment, I mean, point in time where our life just pretty much changed forever. And really we started dedicating ourselves entirely to honey bees and farming.”

Bee Wise Farms offers many programs and resources to the community including an online beekeeping course, a course at Bay Mills Community College, beekeeping workshops for the community, knowledge on honey bee mindfulness practices, and the Heroes to Hive program.

“I’m the national director of the Heroes to Hive program, which is a program we started in 2015, which is now one of the nation’s largest bee keeping education programs for military veterans,” said Adam Ingrao. “We’ve had just shy of 8,300 students go through that program and our farm here serves as one of the education sites. We have sites in 4 states, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, and Nebraska where individuals can come and train on ground with us. And so, this farm serves as a training site for military veterans throughout the season.”

If you want to help out the bees in a simple way, Adam and Lacey Ingrao suggest planting flowers and other pollinator- friendly plants.

“If youre looking to support pollinators, the best thing you can do is provide more habitat,” said Adam Ingrao. “Plant more flowers, that is the best thing that any community member can do to support pollinators.”

“We’re slowly taking out grass areas and putting in creeping thyme, or other herbs or things that the bees really enjoy,” said Lacey Ingrao, another owner of Bee Wise Farms. “It’s a nice fall activity to do. You can seed now and it’ll start growing in the spring, and you’ll have wonderful pollinator flowers for the bees.”

Adam Ingrao explained it is important to find pollinator friendly plants that are native to your area. Form more information on attracting certain insects, you can read more in this University of Michigan Extension Bulletin titled Attracting Beneficial Insects with Native Flowering Plants here. Ingrao also suggests finding a list of pollinator-friendly plants for any area on the Xerxes Society website here.

Bee Wise Farms has a store at the farm where they produce sell honey different varieties of honey. They also sell art created by local artists and veterans in the community. If you want to know more about the programs or products Bee Wise Farms provides, you can find their website here.