rowing up, Dane Uhler spent hours watching bees
near his childhood home in Lisbon. Bees are so
comfortable around him that they walk up and
down his fingers, and live inside his truck. Wearing
flip-flops and rolled-up jeans, the 22-year-old
beekeeper tends to his hives in a natural, laidback manner.
The Dutch-Portuguese-raised Uhler turned his fascination with nature’s
pollinators into his own business – Home Grown Honey. Uhler gives clients
a hive or two for their backyard. Bee enthusiasts can harvest their own honey,
and learn the ancient methods of beekeeping from Uhler himself.
“Microbeekeeping creates a symbiotic relationship,” he said. “You provide
them a nice home where they can grow comfortable, and in exchange you get
their surplus honey.”
Uhler also makes his own honey called Lovebirds. It’s made from Santa
Barbara wild chaparral, which includes nectars from toyon, chemise and sage.
You can buy honey as well as different flavored almonds at his stand at the
Santa Barbara Farmers’ Market Tuesday afternoons.
Uhler was born in Holland and moved to Portugal at age seven. His
parents are Californian, and he traveled to Santa Barbara every year and in
2007, moved to Santa Barbara permanently. He lives here with his wife, Jillie,
a Santa Barbara native, and his parents now live down the street too. Uhler
started Homegrown Honey in 2009.
by Ivy Dai