Rural Missouri - August 2017 - 9
Left: The Giofres look into their newly placed hive to
check on the bees. They place each hive close to ﬂowers
and trees for the bees to pollinate. Above: Nancy Giofre
ﬁlls jars with honey inside her "honey room." Below:
Giofre Apiaries honey and honey ice cream sells at
restaurants in Columbia, mid-Missouri convenience stores
and Hy-Vee. There are 20 different ﬂavors to try.
a person's heath, but many people use it speciﬁcally to help with allergies. Bee
bread is not what the name implies. It is a jar ﬁlled with both honey and the
pollen produced by the bees. Domenik explains: "The honey encapsulates all
that and preserves it. And over time it swells up, you stir it up and it makes like
a paste that people eat a little spoonful of everyday."
"People swear by it," says Nancy. "It's very powerful. And actually, you can
live on that. It's got everything you need to survive."
Her best-selling product remains the honey ice cream, but supplying it is
more than just a two-person job. The millions of pollinators cannot be discounted. Not only are they responsible for helping the beekeeper
create her sweet treats, but they also pollinate one-third of
the world's food supply. In recent years, bees have struggled and are close to becoming endangered nationwide.
Nancy is no stranger to this. Some of her hives
thrive, giving her close to 80 pounds of honey per
year. Others disappear with no sign as
to how or what happened. This can be
devastating for beekeepers doing everything right to take care of their hives.
To Nancy, they are not just bees or her
business partners, they are her family,
and she wants every member to be happy and healthy. "If I don't get 100 percent I'm OK with that. As long as they're
happy and healthy, it's pretty much my
Saturday mornings at the Giofre
household are spent with board meetings over coffee, honey and pajamas. After,
Nancy and Domenik tend to their extended family. They check up on hives, ﬁnd new
homes and maintain the current ones. When
Nancy searches for new locations to suit each hive,
Below: The Giofres load hives onto their truck to ﬁnd a new home for the bees. Right: Four
of the 70 hives owned by the Giofres are located at their home.
she carefully examines each spot, looking out for wildﬂowers, trees and space
for the bees to prosper.
Taking care of just one hive is a lot of work considering there are 50,000 bees
inside. Nancy owns more than 70. Although it is a lot of work, she enjoys every
minute of it. As she drives the roads on her way to each hive, she appreciates
the beauty surrounding her, listing off the names of each wildﬂower along the
way. Ever since she was little, she had more than just an interest in ﬂowers; it
was an obsession. She spent her youth marveling at the intricacy and beauty
of every bloom. She smiles knowing her bees are what keep her past obsession
pollinated and prosperous.
Her current obsession comes with an appreciation for the bees. She compares them to soldiers, admiring their loyalty to their hive, hard work, determination and their drive to protect it, knowing they would give their life in
doing so. "I love my bees. I want them fed and happy and healthy. They're
just awesome. They're mechanical, they're social, they will
stay with the hive until the end, they don't jump
ship. If they lose a queen, they will stay there
until they all die."
The couple have dreams of opening ice cream
shops, having their own mixing machine for the
ice cream and possibly selling the ice cream at
Lake of the Ozarks. But future dreams could
not be supported without their most important
business partner, the bees.
For more information on Giofre Apiaries, call 573-310-9711
or visit Giofre Apiaries
on Facebook. You can also
email them at giofrebees@