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Hubbard Life Blog

Your resource for advice from Hubbard® Life experts.

We Should Always “Bee” Happy: The story of Burt's Bees

Although I never personally met the man or knew his full name, I had seen his first name and his profile pictures for years with a growing interest and amazement.

I was very sad to see that he had passed several weeks back.  His company was Burt’s Bees and his name was Burt Shavitz.    The Maine based business started with Roxanne Quimby in 1984 as a candle making company.  The candles were made from left over bee’s wax from Burt’s honey business.  As many new businesses, it started slowly but by the end of the first year, it had grown to $20,000 in sales.  

After taking a large order for a boutique in New York, Burt’s Bees expanded their business.  Around that time, Roxanne found several recipes for personal care products after reading one of Burt’s old bee keeping books and the company started to make additional products.  This expanded line still included the candles but now also had natural soaps, perfumes and one of their best selling products, lip balm.

But it was not always blue skies for them.  In 1993, Roxanne forced Burt basically out of the business due to “issues in their personal relationship”.  Roxanne kept the company growing and by 1998, now based in North Carolina, they had sales of over $8 million dollars and 100 natural care products.  In 1999, Roxanne bought out Shavitz’s share of the company for a house worth about $130,000.  

In 2004, an equity company bought most of the Burt’s Bee Company for $173 million dollars from Roxanne (who kept 20% of the company).   Burt renegotiated his compensation and was given $4 million dollars.  After several years of growth with several executives from high power companies like GE, Garner and Unilever, the company was once again sold this time to Clorox Company for a reported $925 million. 

So the next time you see a little bee that weighs a few grams and think it does not do much for you, remember these little facts:

  • One tablespoon of honey represents 36 bees total lifetime production
  • The average American eats 1.1 pound of honey a year
  • It takes pollen from two million flowers to make one pound of honey
  • The hive of bees will travel 55,000 miles over 12 square miles for that one pound of honey
  • A bee flies about 15 mph and lives for about 45 days but does not sleep
  • Mead is honey wine

So my personal thanks to Burt of Burt’ s Bees for keeping the science of Apiology going strong and for superior lip protection in the winter.

A little 'off-topic' from our usual animal nutrition, but interesting none-the-less!   

Posted on 10/7/2015 by Dr. Ed Bonnette  |  Category: Specialty
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Hubbard Life and Exmark Launch “Best Things in Life” Sweepstakes

Hubbard Life is excited to announce a joint promotion with Exmark, the leading manufacturer of commercial mowers for the landscape professional. The companies have teamed up for a 2nd year in a row to give away three top-of-the-line Exmark zero-turn mowers away in the Hubbard Life ‘Best Things in Life’ Sweepstakes.

Exmark and Hubbard Life share a single-minded dedication to excellence. While the focuses of the businesses are different, the commitment to leadership and delivering the very best to their customers is the same.

Hubbard Feeds focuses on the nutritional care of your animals, no matter what their size or purpose. Exmark focus is on designing and manufacturing cutting-edge mowing and turf care products. Both Hubbard and Exmark work every day to earn their customers’ trust and exceed their expectations.

The Hubbard Life ‘The Best Things in Life’ Sweepstakes began on July 30, 2015. No purchase is necessary to enter. Simply visit a participating Hubbard Life dealer to complete the postage-paid sweepstakes entry card. All entries must be received by October 1, 2015.

Three winners will be selected – one from each of the three Hubbard Life business unit regions. Each winner will take home a 2015 Exmark Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn mower with a 60-inch cutting deck and a retail value of more than $13,000.

To find the nearest Hubbard Life dealer visit To learn more about the Exmark advantage, visit                                             


About Hubbard Feeds

Hubbard Life (a Hubbard Feeds brand)…provides nutrition for the animals you care for…and care about. Hubbard Feeds is a leading provider of livestock and companion animal nutrition products. The company is headquartered in Mankato, Minn., and currently operates 22 plants in thirteen states. For more information, visit or


Posted on 8/27/2015 by Shannon Zika  |  Category: Equine, Poultry, Cat, Dog, Rabbit, Sheep, Goat, Specialty
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Horse Management: Are your horses drinking enough water?

It is not often talked about, but the amount of water a horse drinks is very important to ensure animal well-being and performance.  In the hot days of summer our horses need to stay hydrated just like we do!  So, what can you do as a horse owner to ensure that your horses get enough to drink each day?

Getting enough water into your horse is not always easy given that the animal’s water needs can vary greatly according to diet, temperature and amount of exercise.

The main thing to think about is how you are providing water to your horse.  Our modern management of horses is quite a bit different these days from what a horse would do naturally which is to drink from ponds and streams.  Several people use automatic water systems because they are convenient for the horse owner.  But, are they appealing to the horse?  Not really.

Horses have been studied and the scientific literature says that horses prefer to drink out of a bucket rather than an automatic waterer, almost every time.  If you water with a bucket it is critical that you keep the bucket clean, change the water frequently, remove hay and feed that has accumulated and don’t let the bucket run dry.

Kris Hiney, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension equine specialist says that the type of waterer will make a difference.  In a study of horses never exposed to automatic waterers the animals preferred float-valve waterers compared to push valves.  With push-valve waterers, a horse must apply some force from its muzzle against the valve.

Push valve waterers have the effect of somewhat startling the horse because of the noise of water refilling the reservoir.  A larger reservoir does seem to encourage more water consumption.

Remember that horses also drink when they eat, so it is important to offer water right at their food source.  Some horses prefer to dip their hay in water as they are eating it.  This is seen as normal behavior and while it may be messy it seems to help the horses chew their hay.  Presoaking hay can help a horse that is experiencing dental problems.

Horses seem to prefer their water to be cooler than lukewarm temperature when it is hot out as they are trying to regulate their body temperature, which is called thermoregulation.  That means about 50 degrees F is good to shoot for.

Awareness of these simple strategies may help your horses to consume the water they need.  And get out there and enjoy what is left of summer weather!

Visit to learn more about horse tips and the high quality feed products available from Hubbard Life.

Posted on 8/24/2015 by Amy Brown  |  Category: Equine
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