About Gerard'Z Honeybees
By Nature, For Nature
Gerard’Z Honeybees roots reach back nearly 120 years, to a family farm in Poland. The first beekeeper and family patriarch, Gerard Zawada, cultivated hives throughout his lifetime, passing on his knowledge of beekeeping to four generations of Zawada’s.
Gerard was born in 1900, the son of a crop farmer. As a young man, Gerard was fascinated by the variety of vegetables and fruit produced on his parents' farm. When he would go into town or to the market, Gerard often conversed with other local farmers, and through their discussions learned of the need for using honeybees to aid in cross-pollination and how that could greatly increase the yield in crops.
Armed with this new knowledge, Gerard decided to establish colonies on the family farm. In short order, this led to an abundance of crops, which in turn the family could sell within their community. As Gerard developed these gardens with his family, he passed his knowledge of the bees on to his son. And just as the pollination of the plants in the family's fields resulted in an abundance of vegetables, it also resulted in an abundance of honey, which the family also sold alongside their produce at the local market.
Gerard eventually emigrated to the United States, in 1945, his family settling in Western Pennsylvania, in a suburb on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. It was there that Gerard acquired a small farm, on which he grew crops and kept bees, but now just enough for his family’s consumption, not as his livelihood. During those years, Gerard’s art of beekeeping got passed on to two more generations, and many of those family members continue to maintain hives as a backyard hobby.
In 1985, two of Gerard’s grandsons moved to Northern California and settled in Livermore, with grandson Ed pursuing work as an engineer in the data storage industry. Twenty-six years into this career, Ed had a renewed fascination with honeybees and in 2011 decided to install three hives in his backyard. Ed’s apiary grew quickly over the next three years and he began to sell his products of the hive. Ed also started providing pollination and swarm removal services, as well as conducting beekeeping workshops to the public.
Today, Gerard’Z Honeybees honors the legacy of Gerard Zawada through its dissemination of beekeeping knowledge and production of quality honey products. Proprietor Ed Zawada invites you to visit him at one of his many farmers market locations, to engage his services for cross-pollination, or to attend one of his beekeeping workshops.
Gerard’Z Honeybees' hives, products, and services are available throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley.