Don Cole/ San Marcos Farms


Cole has been dabbling with the little winged ones since he was in high school, helping his father care for hives in San Roque Canyon. In the early 1980s he and his wife, Anne, sold jars of honey alongside their San Marcos Farms produce at a Goleta roadside stand. With time, his fascination with bee culture and a growing demand for their honey enabled the Coles to turn beekeeping and honey producing into a full-time operation. Cole now cares for nearly 500 hives throughout the county, which help pollinate fields of local crops.