Miss Bee Haven Apiary moving pallets of bees faster and easier with Avant


Miss Bee Haven Apiary is a small family owned apiary on the westside of Jacksonville, Florida.  They offer local honey, small bee colonies, and queen bees.  John Graf, the owner used a home-made forklift made from a zero-turn mower to move pallets of bees.  He said “it worked fine for about 5 years but, eventually we needed something that could do more work.  Mainly moving honey.  Before my little home-made loader moved the pallets of bees ok.  But, when it came to moving honey and honey supers it quickly became over loaded.”  John had never heard of Avant until one of his other bee friends bought one.  “My friend has used his loader for 2 years before I bought mine and he was still happy with his purchase.  He has around 1000 hives and I knew if he was still happy with it then it should serve me well with a couple hundred.”  Once he realized he needed a bigger loader he started doing some online comparisons with other loaders on the market and decided on Avant.  John say’s “the features I liked about the Avant was it being light weight versus some of the other loaders on the market but still having close to the same lifting capacity.  I also like the extendable boom, several of my bee yards are really tight and being able to load the pallets from the same side of the truck makes life easier.  I also like the multitude of attachments that are available.  I only have a couple hundred hives, so it was a little hard to justify such a big purchase for the bees alone.  But, by being able to use other attachments around the house and farm made it easier to swallow.”

Now that John has an Avant 528 he can move pallets of supers and barrels of honey with ease.  He say’s “my back did not even start hurting this honey season.  Last season it hurt for two weeks after the honey season.”  John can go in a bee yard and pull honey before the bees start robbing.  “By being able to move bees and honey without having to depend on someone else is a big plus for me.  It’s hard to find dependable help when you are working with stinging insects.  Without a doubt the Avant saves me money and time.  My son has already made several thousand dollars with the machine picking up after Hurricane Irma that devastated parts of Florida.”

Since purchasing their Avant John has expanded his hive numbers and plans to continue to expand over the next few years.  John say’s “it’s a strong, light piece of equipment that should last for years.  If you’re in the market for a loader I would definitely look at Avant.  With the articulation you can get in and out of places without tearing up the ground like a conventional skid steer.”