INDIANAPOLIS — The Hoosier state is home to several bee farms as communities across Indiana enjoy the fruit of the humble honeybee’s labor.

Bees are responsible for pollinating food crops by traveling from one plant to the next, fertilizing the plant in the process. Bees possess little hairs throughout their bodies that pollen becomes attached to.

As a result, bees represent a critical part of the national food chain, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reporting that pollinators generate about $15 billion in added crop value.

The United States Department of Agriculture estimates pollinators like bees and butterflies pollinate around 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants and pollinate 35 percent of food crops around the world such as fruits and vegetables.

Hunter’s Honey Farm

Our mapping of Indiana bee farms brings us first to Hunter’s Honey Farm in Martinsville, a city with close-knit communities located about 35 miles south of Indianapolis.

This family-owned farm has been producing honey for the last 100 years. The operation has expanded to include sales through wholesale and retail outlets. For those eager to visit the farm in person, a gift shop is on-site where consumers can purchase beeswax products such as candles, soaps or lip balm.

The farm also offers tours that include honey-tasting. The farm is located at 6501 W. Honey Lane in Martinsville and can be contacted at 765-537-9430.

Haute Honey Farms

Our overview of Hoosier bee farms takes us next to Haute Honey Farms, which calls Terre Haute home. Founded in 2009, this apiary is on a family farm and thrives on selling raw honey.

Haute Honey Farms also sells hand, foot and lip balms from all-natural honey products.

The farm can be found at 4000 East Dallas Drive in Terre Haute and contacted at 812-249-5671.

Carter’s Honey Bees

Next on our stop is northeastern Indiana, which is home to Carter’s Honey Bees nearly 20 miles north of Fort Wayne.

This bee farm has it all: visitors can purchase elderberry syrup, wildflower honey and plenty of products for those interested in building their own starter hives. These include wax-dipped brood boxes and overwintering protective hive covers.

Bees can even be purchased at this honey farm as 5-frame Nucs cost around $180. A Nuc refers to an established colony with 3 frames of brood and two frames of pollen and honey. These Nucs include a mated Northern queen raised on the farm.

Carter’s Honey Bees is located at 6371 County Road 29 in Auburn and can be contacted at 260-573-3812.

The Honey House at Forston Farms

Our final stop brings us to Forston Farms, located about 21 miles east of Evansville.

The farm offers a variety of products ranging from chest rubs to honey straws. Plenty of other health/home and honey items are also available to purchase. All of the honey is harvested from beehives located in Vanderburgh, Spencer and Warrick counties.

The Honey House at Forston Farms is located at 727 N. County Rd 950 W. in Richland and can be contacted at 812-549-6424.