William and Debra Mills pose in a row of sunflowers planted earlier this year on their farm . William says he plans on replanting the flowers again next year .
| Photo contributed think I ’ ll ever be .”
Mills says he ’ s succumbed to his love of bees and admits that he wanted to increase his number of hives to 50 this year , but because of backorders caused by the pandemic , he wasn ’ t able to get the frames and boxes needed . With that said , Mills is confident he ’ ll be able to reach his goal of 50 hives by next year , but says the new bess won ’ t produce honey that first year .
“ But then in three or four years , if things go well , I ’ d like to make a lot of honey ,” he said . “ If I had a train-car full of honey , I could sell it . Honey ’ s the one thing you don ’ t have to worry about selling ,” Mills added . “ It will definitely sell .”
Mills has also planted sunflowers this past spring as a treat for the honeybees and as a photo opportunity for local photographers . He said he has plans to replant the flowers next year . He ’ s also planted patches of zinnias for his wife , who loves the flowers .
“ I ’ m two or three years ahead of where I wanted to be ,” Mills said on his farm so far . “ I didn ’ t think I would sell trees for seven years after I planted them ,” he said staring at the fireplace next to where he sat . “ I just finished up the fireplace almost ,” he said motioning towards it . “ I ’ ve learned to just sit here and look at it , I can ’ t get any work done for looking at it ,” he joked .
The truth is , the fireplace is just one part of the major renovation plans Mills has for the old barn . He says in the future he would like to clear-out one side of the barn and set up an area for local vendors to come and sell their goods .
As for this year , Mills said he would be opening his farm the day after Thanksgiving for those who would like to come and cutdown a Christmas tree .
He said he thought about selling pre-cut trees this year to folks , but that suppliers were asking around $ 75 for a sevenfoot tree , and for Mills , “ there ’ s just not enough chicken on that bone .”
“ Hopefully that ’ ll just about tie it up with no more trees than we have this year ,” Mills said on being open the day and weekend following Thanksgiving for folks to come and cut trees . “ But if not , I usually get home from work at 4 p . m . and we ’ ll be open until dark until everything is sold ,” he said , noting he would be selling honey and wreaths along with the 50 Christmas trees this year .
Mills Tree Farm & Honeybees is located on Jesse Lane in the McWhorter community just passed Macedonia Methodist Church . For more information on the farm , Christmas trees and more , check out Mills Tree Farm & Honeybees on Facebook .
December 2021 SEKY - Life in Southeast Kentucky • 39