From Beekeeping to Healthcare: How a Hobby Launched A Career

From Beekeeping to Healthcare: How a Hobby Launched A Career

After hitting his fourth straight golf ball into the lake at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Dan Price decided he hated golf. A farm across the lake caught Price’s attention so he drove over to take a closer look. Price walked away owning the farm, but without an idea what to do with it. Then another stroke of destiny, and one option felt right — beekeeping.

Little did he know his hobby would turn into a nonprofit and lead to a new career in healthcare.

Several years after his fateful trip off the golf course and on the farm, Price is continuing to expand operations of his unlikely hobbies through beekeeping, flower distributions and partnerships with area caregivers.

Price graduated from Harvard with his MBA and worked with several technology start-ups before eventually selling them and ultimately starting his beekeeping hobby.

After the first couple of years, Price harvested honey for the first time. His friends loved it so much, they asked him for more and insisted they pay for it. Price worked out a deal instead — if they donated money to a nonprofit, he would give them a jar of honey for free.

He ended up raising $100,000 for nonprofits, so in 2010, he decided to create his own. Sweet Virginia, based in Ashburn, started as an opportunity to share the wonder of honeybees with children, Price said. And as Price developed the educational programming on biology and conservation, he added another component to his farm — two acres of sunflowers.

Price first chose to expand his honeybee sanctuary into a cut flower farm attract bees and give them something to do, in addition to the beauty they added to the farm. But as the flowers were ready for cutting, Price realized he had more sunflowers than he knew what to do with. Then, his nephew suggested Price donate them to people going through hard times in places like hospitals, hospices and rehabilitation centers. Price loved the idea and they’ve been doing it ever since.

“People just light up like Christmas trees when we come in with buckets of sunflowers,” Price said.

In the past six years, Price has distributed more than 100,000 flowers.

Seeing his close connection to the elderly and his love for giving back, when a friend was selling his BrightStar Care location in Loudoun County, he thought Price would be the perfect new owner. Price took over the Ashburn caregiving business in January 2016 and has worked with Loudoun resident and Director of Nursing Karen Thompson to continue providing the premium home care BrightStar Care is known for.

“BrightStar’s the only home care company in the country that for four consecutive years has been awarded the ‘Enterprise Champion of Quality’ from the Joint Commission — the leading hospital accreditation organization in the United States,” Price said. “That honor was important in my decision to buy the local BrightStar branches.”

Price continues to teach others about nature and conservation through his honeybee sanctuary. What keeps him going is the impact his flowers make and seeing the joy on people’s faces when they receive his flowers, particularly those in the elderly community, Price said.

“We’re spreading love with sunflowers,” Price said.