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People Top 5
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- April 19, 2004
- Vol. 61
- No. 15
You've Got Bee-Mail!
'To Bee or Not to Bee?' That Was the Question for Brian Griffin, Who Turned a Hobby into Big Business
They haven't exactly been bad for the Griffin family, either. Since 1991, when Brian became interested in bees while researching how to make apple trees in his backyard bear more fruit, their family-run enterprise known as Knox Cellars has grown into a business with yearly sales of $200,000 from books, bees and paraphernalia. "Dad's silly little bee hobby got totally out of control," says Novich, a married mother of three who gave up her job with a forest-products company to join full-time in 1999. Fortunately the bee they deal in most, the Orchard Mason, usually ignores humans—even ones who can't mind their own beeswax. In all his years of beekeeping, Griffin has been stung only once. "And it was my own fault," he says. "I just happened to get one down my shirt and started swatting it until it finally fought back."
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