Honey River Farm | Virginia | Navy
Brian Clements began his career in the US Navy in 1985 as a fleet sailor, completing multiple deployments to the Pacific. He became an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician in 1992, and deployed multiple times to the Mediterranean and Middle East, to include three combat tours. Brian was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and various other medals as well as being promoted to Master Chief Petty Officer. Brian retired in 2005 and continues to work for the Navy.
For over twenty years Brian visited many places in the world and enjoyed cuisines that sparked his interests in food and agriculture.
His beekeeping venture began in 2019, when he partnered with Cyndi Knudson to develop Honey River Farm in White Stone, VA. Honey River Farm consists of 13 acres on the Rappahannock River and produces pure honey, comb honey, and flavor infused honeys.
Beekeeping is important to Brian – not only because of producing delicious honey that meshes into his community food network, but also because of his work developing pollinator forage plots for their honeybees and all pollinators to insure a viable pollinator population for area food crops.
Working together with small businesses in the small town of White Stone, VA in the rural Northern Neck region of Virginia is an important aspect of their business.
They additionally believe in educating the public about bees and honey, and plan to open up Honey River Farm to their community by hosting community days that will be available to adults as well as children. Education and demonstration about pollinators, honey and honey bees will also be shared through civic organizations, county programs and community events.
Several local stores sell Brian and Cynthia’s honey retail and several restaurants use their honey and comb honey as part of their menus. They are in the process of setting up online honey sales on the farm website. Honey River Farm will enlarge its product distribution area as honey supply grows and they have future plans for community farm days, and AirBnB Experience farm programs.
FVC membership has been beneficial to the development of the honey and bee farm in many ways. “By attending the FVC Stakeholders Conference in 2019,” this decorated veteran explains, “I built networking relationships with other veteran beekeepers throughout the country; I became aware of Heroes to Hives and I’m attending this online education program. The Fellowship Fund award has made it possible for us to purchase a honey bottling system that will enhance our ability to get our honey to market in our community.”
Honey River Farm proudly displays the Homegrown by Heroes logo on its honey label, and Brian feels that this has a positive impact on sales.