Dadant & Sons Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Eight hundred beekeepers converged on the Dadant & Sons, Inc., Beekeeping Supply and Candle Company in Hamilton, Ill, March 15 & 16, 2013 to attend the Sesquicentennial Anniversary celebrating the company’s 150 years of business.

Dadant & Sons, Inc. home office in Hamilton, IL

Festivities on March 15 included a tour of the company’s three main area manufacturing facilities in Hamilton and Dallas City, Illinois, and Kahoka, Missouri, as well as a complementary banquet and evening speaker at Sullivan Auctioneers, llc., located outside of Hamilton on Highway 136. We would like to thank the Sullivan family for their generosity and helping with our 150th Anniversary celebration. The following day, beekeepers were treated to a full day of speeches and displays, as well as lunch provided by the company. Saturday’s program included speeches from nationally known beekeeping experts: James Tew, Bee Culture columnist, retired Ohio State extension beekeeper and current extension beekeeper at Auburn University; Randy Oliver, California commercial beekeeper and pollinator and monthly columnist for the American Bee Journal; Jerry Hayes, former Florida State apiarist, who currently works for Monsanto in St. Louis on bee health and writes the monthly Classroom column for the American Bee Journal; and Chuck and Karen Lorence, Illinois sideline beekeepers and honey marketing experts. Talks were also given by Tim Dadant, company president; Kent Robertson, Dadant’s Dallas City Metalware plant manager; and Ray Latner, Dadant’s Florida branch manager.

Beekeepers at the Dadant 150th Anniversary Celebration


Dadant & Sons, Inc., began their business in Hamilton, Illinois in 1863 when Charles Dadant emigrated from France to the United States with the intention of growing grapes in West Central Illinois. However, Charles, who had also been a hobby beekeeper in France, soon discovered that honey bees flourished and produced excellent honey crops in this area due to the abundance of native wildflowers, as well as clover and alfalfa grown by farmers. From this sideline pursuit the family’s beekeeping business continued to grow. At one time, the family was known as one of the largest honey producers in the country.


 Dadant equipment exhibit at the 150th Anniversary Celebration


Charles and his son, C.P. Dadant, also began to manufacture beeswax comb foundation for other beekeepers when it was discovered that providing reusable combs for beehives greatly increased the hive’s honey productivity. Eventually, the company added beehives, honey processing equipment and other beekeeping accessories to the wide range of products they sold to beekeepers. As the family business grew, producing quality beekeeping supplies became a larger part of the business. Today, Dadant & Sons, Inc., is the largest beekeeping supply manufacturer in the world. They also manufacture candles for both the religious and decorative candle trade. Besides its plants in Hamilton and Dallas City, Ill., and Kahoka, Mo., it owns a woodenware plant in Polson, Mont. It also has 10 branch sales offices located throughout the country, in addition to significant international sales volume. On the educational front, it maintains the monthly American Bee Journal magazine, the oldest English language beekeeping magazine, as well as publishing an extensive line of beekeeping educational books.

For more information about Dadant & Sons, Inc., contact our home office in Hamilton, IL. Phone: (217) 847-3324 or email:

For more photos from the 150th Anniversary celebration go to