The Ashurst family of Westmorland, California, in December celebrated 100 years of involvement in beekeeping. Julian Ashurst began working as a beekeeper in 1918 in Pomona, CA, before moving to the dryer climate of Imperial Valley for relief for his asthma. There, he started his own beekeeping company, Ashurst and Son.
The “Son” in the company was Delvin Ashurst, who ran the business with his Dad until the 1960s when they split it into two separate companies – one concentrating on honey production and the other pollination.
Delvin passed away in 2002 at age 84. He is survived by his wife Frances – and by the family business, in the form of three companies headed by three sons: Richard and Kenneth run Ashurst Bee Co. and Ashurst Honey, respectively, in Westmorland, while Buddy heads American Honey in El Centro.
With over 50,000 hives among them, the Ashurst family has been a force in the state’s beekeeping community. Over the years, five separate family members have held the post of President of the California State Beekeepers Association.