The Team

Every endeavor needs a great team driving it. Meet the Backyard Beehive team:


James Wilkes – Father of several children, husband to Shannon, and son of Bob Wilkes.  James has owned bees since the year 2000 when his father brought him two hives; however, he grew up with bees in his backyard.  His father always had two or three hives behind the house even though they lived in town on less than half an acre. James kept 3-5 hives in his backyard for five years until moving to a farm in 2005.  Since then he has had as few as 5 (a bad winter) and as many as 120. He invites you to explore this fascinating hobby that is never boring and produces delicious honey. In his spare time, James is also Chairman and Professor of Computer Science at Appalachian State University.

Bob Wilkes – Father of James Wilkes.  Papa Bob got his first package of bees through mail order from Sears around 1964, the year before James was born.   He has been keeping bees ever since with as many as 10-15 hives in the mid 90’s. He now mostly enjoys watching the hives that we keep in his back yard and eating the honey we share with him.  

Galen Wilkes – Oldest son of James. As farm manager, his hand is in a variety of activities including honey sales and distribution and bee work during busy times.

Sullivan Wilkes – Second oldest son of James.  Sullivan is growing his own bee business and does much of the beekeeping work for the farm including Back Yard Bee Hive maintenance.  His diverse experience includes growing up with the sideliner operation on the farm, working with commercial beekeeping operations, contributing to bee research, and engaging with all levels of stakeholders at beekeeping conferences.