Auburn student hits the sweet spot with local honey business

Published: November 08, 2019
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If you’ve ordered a honey latte from Coffee Cat or eaten a meal with honey at the Wellness Kitchen, then chances are you’ve tasted the honey of Eddie’s Bees, a business founded by an Auburn University student.

Like many Auburn University students, Eddie Strickland is involved with on-campus organizations in addition to his school work. However, this mechanical engineering major has one passion that makes him the buzz for local honey lovers. He is the founder of Eddie’s Bees, a local honey business right outside of Auburn, and it started when he was only a teenager.

Strickland was 14 years old when he asked his father about getting a hive of bees because of his love for honey and trying new things. Since then, the business has grown each year and currently has about 60 hives. This past spring and summer alone, Eddie’s Bees made more than 335 gallons of honey.

“It’s a really nice, clean environment,” said Strickland. “We don’t use any sort of pesticides or chemicals with our bees…you can call this completely organic.”

Balancing his honey business with his engineering coursework may seem like a sticky situation, but Strickland has taken what he’s learned in his classes and applied it to his business. He and his father have even had to use skills directly learned in his engineering classes to design and build their own equipment and processor procedures. 

“The critical thinking and complex analytical skills learned in engineering have helped me to think through problems I’ve faced as a beekeeper,” said Strickland. “It gave me the opportunity to learn a lot of technical skills.”

From making connections with honey buyers to meeting lifelong friends, the Auburn Family has helped Strickland with his business and impacted him personally.

“I’ve definitely found the best friendships and personal relationships with people that I’ve ever had in my life here,” he said. “It’s all about the people you’re around, and the people here at Auburn are really great.”

Upon graduating next year and being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Strickland plans on pursuing a career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He is currently a cadet in the Auburn University Army ROTC program and holds the position of operations sergeant major. His responsibilities include planning events such as the home football games pregame presentation of the flags, training for the other cadets and coordinating fundraising.

“I want to work in the Army Corps of Engineers because I'll be able to apply the mechanical engineering skills I've developed here at Auburn to work on building projects—such as dams, waterways and military construction—that help the American public,” he said.

Despite Strickland’s career aspirations, those who love the honey from Eddie’s Bees will still be able to enjoy the sweet treat.

“My dad is retired, so when I’m not home to help, he keeps things going,” Strickland said. “Eddie’s Bees will keep going strong for a long time.”

 

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.