Work by more than 100 Artisans inside new Carmel more

Raw and whipped honey
Variety of farmers markets and stores
The Barrickmans, Wildflower Ridge Honey

“Some say that as much as every third bite of food we eat is directly or indirectly related to the honeybee. Our happy bees make a delicious product that happy customers tell us they truly enjoy.”

Looking for a little extra income in his retirement, Dave Barrickman decided to turn to a hobby he learned when he was 10. He became a full-time beekeeper.

Dave expanded his hives from a few in his backyard to 150 in Hamilton, Madison and Boone counties to provide pure, natural honey for family and friends. “I learned beekeeping as a young lad from my grandfather in Strawtown, Indiana,” he commented. “I got my first hive when I was 19 and have been a beekeeper for more than 46 years.”

Dave applies the science of honey-making to his art. Extracting honey only takes place once or twice a year, but many tasks are performed every month to maintain the hives and the bees’ production. Natural disasters, weather and disease can ruin a hive, so each year new ones are started.

“Our honey is quite different from mass produced varieties,” Dave said. While many commercial honeys are heated over 145 degrees, which destroys the natural enzymes, Wildflower Ridge honey varieties are never heated over 118 degrees, which preserves the natural enzymes. This Artisan does not blend his honey with corn syrup or honey from other countries, a method that some commercial packers use. Dave provides floral sources that are free from pesticides and other toxins.

“We plant sunflowers, borage, bee balm, and a variety of flowers in our gardens and fields for the bees,” said Pattie Barrickman, his wife and business partner. “We have dandelions and white clover naturally in the yard. We plant our back acres sometimes in buckwheat but most often in alsike clover, which the bees just love.”

An enthusiast about his work, Dave often shares his talent with others. He has taught beekeeping to 4-H members, his two stepsons and two of his grandchildren, including a grandson who has his own hives and was named Young Beekeeper of the Year. He led spring field clinics for eight years on a small farm he bought in 1991 in Anderson specifically for beekeeping,

For many years, Dave would don the bulky protective gear that all beekeepers need to wear, fire up the smoker and make daily presentations about beekeeping at the Indiana State Fair. He also is a past president of the Indiana Beekeepers Association; Pattie has been secretary of the association. They, and their work, have been a sweet addition to the Indiana Artisan brand.