On November 6, 2021 Doug Hauke was honored as WHPA’s 2021 Beekeeper of the Year at the annual Fall Convention in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. As a boy, Doug wanted nothing to do with the bees on his father’s dairy farm. He headed to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study bacteriology and virology.  While there, he worked several seasons at the University’s bee lab. The bee research experience changed his thinking.  It convinced him he was destined to raise bees back home and by 1980 he owned the family business.

From central Wisconsin to Texas and California, he and his hard-working “flight crew” perform a critical service in U.S. agriculture — pollinating crops and producing a sweet crop of their own.  He is the owner of Wisconsin’s largest honey-producing operation.  While others have more bees, they’re more focused on pollination while his emphasis has remained more focused on honey production compared to his peers. He previously produced honey for retail sales, but his niche now is selling honey to Miller-Coors and Wisconsin craft breweries for beer production.  He also sells 4,000 to 6,000 frames of brood each year to other beekeepers.

The 3,200-colony apiary sells bulk honey and beeswax from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected facility in Wood County.  From a wintering location in Texas, they produce queens and nucs while the main group of bees is in California pollinating almonds.

Doug also serves the honey and beekeeping industry.  An active member of WHPA, Doug has served on and chaired the research committee.  Most importantly, he shares his knowledge and experience with all of us and is a great asset at governmental meetings and hearings.  He has served on the National Honey Board and Project Apis. m and is the Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of the American Honey Producers Association. Congratulations Doug!