A Step Change in Harvesting Technology

Spencer Groth
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Honey Bee Manufacturing Positioning for the Global Market

Honey Bee Manufacturing started on a farm in Bracken, Southwest Saskatchewan. In 1979, Greg and Glenn Honey started building their own equipment to meet their own needs on their farm, the first major project being a 425HP tractor.

From a 67′ self-propelled swather to a power-unit sprayer combo, they built or adapted nearly everything that they needed for their farming practice. Naturally, the duo began marketing some of their products. The most popular among these was the Grain Belt Header, which offered increased capacity, better cutting, and better feeding. Its rugged and simple design also ensured that the product would be a staple on farms for years to come.

In the fall of 1987, the Grain Belt platform was growing in popularity, so they decided to make the move to Frontier, Saskatchewan. Their new location had enough space for increased production capacity and a product line expansion. Today, Honey Bee has over 100,000 square feet of production and warehousing space, enabling them to provide customers from around the world with a diverse offering of draper platforms for a wide variety of crops and conditions.

Honey Bee is evolving the tradition of the draper platform from the Grain Belt and is setting its sights on the future through the new AirFLEX platform, which carries forward the robust design of the Grain Belt, while meeting the needs of today’s producers. Honey Bee’s AirFLEX features sensors and air suspension that allow the header to shave the ground more closely than traditional flex headers. This is particularly important in pulse crops, where pods can grow close to the ground. Honey Bee’s proprietary Automatix system allows the header to switch from flex to rigid mode with the push of a button. Glenn Honey of Honey Bee says the company’s objective in developing the AirFLEX was to simplify the header’s design to improve capacity, and at the same time, reduce the weight to allow better floatation and wider widths.

“When we were designing for improved capacity, we ended up engineering a lot of weight off the header. The result is a simplified header with better performance,” says Honey.

“Honey Bee has always done well by sticking close to its roots of providing a solid header that works in both adverse and favourable conditions” Comments Jamie Pegg, General Manager of Honey Bee Manufacturing. “The key to staying relevant is anticipating the needs of farmers as technology continues to advance in this sector. The AirFLEX is our response to the need for more efficient and effective harvests. Growers today are placing a stronger emphasis on minimizing inputs while maximizing outputs. Most of the innovation thus far is seen in seeding equipment. Our AirFLEX addresses the grower’s need for maximizing yield and minimizing crop loss in his or her harvest program.”

International Growth

With the AirFLEX customer base quickly growing in Canada and the United States, Honey Bee has full intentions of ensuring that their harvest solutions do not go unnoticed on the global stage. Honey Bee commands a strong presence in the global rigid header market; a natural next step for Honey Bee is to introduce the AirFLEX to the world.

One vital step to this is exhibiting the AirFLEX at the next Agritechnica trade show in Hannover, Germany. “We’re going to be exhibiting our AirFLEX in Hannover this year with the intention of developing awareness and educating growers and distributors on the next step changes in the industry” comments Spencer Groth, Marketing Manager at Honey Bee. Honey Bee will be exhibiting in partnership with STEP and other Saskatchewan manufacturers in the Canada Pavilion. Taking place from Nov. 12-18, Agritechnica is the largest farm show in the world and features more than 2,900 exhibits. It also contains forums, congresses and workshops that showcase technology trends and addresses key questions regarding the future of agriculture.

“Honey Bee is active in dozens of countries around the world, yet we’re continually surprised by new opportunities that we couldn’t have anticipated on our own,” comments Spencer. “STEP has been a large part of our international business development program.”

By Farmers for Farmers

Honey Bee has come a long way from those days back on the farm. With a strong commitment to product research and development, Honey Bee’s objective has always been to manufacture equipment that farmers want and are happy to own.

Don’t forget to visit Honey Bee’s booth (Hall 12-B13) if you are attending Agritechnica this November. For more information, please contact:

Jamie Pegg

General Manager

Honey Bee Manufacturing

1 306 296 2297

jamie.pegg@honeybee.ca

A Step Change in Harvesting Technology

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