History of Ross rounds

 

1970's

 

1990's

 

Today

The history of comb honey and pollen collection goes back to before man kept bees and would raid hives to get the honey. When I hear my father talk of keeping bees in the 1950's, he always reminds me of how "he" did it. While modern day manufacturing and materials didn't yet exist, the production of comb honey was alive and well in 1 lb. basswood boxes and that is, exactly, how he did it. Any comb not yet complete or not meeting the level of quality was put into a lard press to get liquid honey and a block of un-rendered wax. Then the comb honey and liquid honey was taken to market to be sold or traded. 

As plastic became more available and easy to mold in the 1970's, there were several who started to try to replace the basswood boxes with plastic parts. Since it was easier to manufacture, the plastic parts would be cheaper and as a result would hopefully cost less to the beekeeper, who could hold the same retail price, thus making more on decrease in cost of goods. However several tried and while they did have a fair amount of success, there was always room for improvements. Enter Tom Ross.

While we did not personally know Tom Ross,  from what we understand he made quite the effort to perfect the plastic comb honey system. Once he made the needed improvements and introduced the product to the marketplace, it was only a matter of time before beekeepers would see which system to go with, the Ross Round Comb Honey System.

In the 1990's Tom Ross sold Ross Rounds to Lloyd Spear with the help of a mutual friend Richard Taylor. Lloyd modernized the company, formed an .INC and continued to grow the company and customer bases. During this time Lloyd invented the Sundance Pollen Trap and that line of products were added to the offering of Ross Round inc. In 2016, Lloyd approach my wife and I about the sale of Ross Rounds inc. He was interested in retiring and sold or managed his other interested to align with that interest.  Thou it took sometime, at the start of 2017, Kimberly and I, Ben, finalized the purchase of Ross Rounds and the Sun Dance Pollen Traps. 

Today we continue to grow and innovate our new and existing product base, just as our successors did. We believe in order to be successful, we must help our customers be successful. With this strategy, we press on. Look for our constant improvements to our operations and product lines. As well as, ways to make our customers more successful, like newly design labels, clearer instructions and how to videos.  

Thank you for your patronage, supporting the bees and passing on a heritage.

Kimberly and Ben Carpenter


Letter from Tom Ross in 1997

Dear Beekeepers,

Thank you for visiting our Web Site. Here you will find descriptions of Ross Round Comb Section equipment, much information on its use, and answers to some of your questions.  In the United States and Canada over 90% of comb honey sections are produced in Ross Rounds™ equipment.  We believe our success is because our products are manufactured especially to help beekeepers produce beautiful comb honey sections with a minimum amount of labor.

You can obtain our equipment at reasonable prices from most national and regional dealers in the USA and Canada as well as dealers in several other countries. If you would like the name of a dealer near you please contact us

We sell direct only in wholesale quantities to dealers,  and large sideline or commercial beekeepers. We will be pleased to quote on your wholesale needs. Please send quantity and delivery information to us.

There is a substantial market for good quality round comb honey sections, offering excellent profit potential. In the US, Ross Round sections weighing 8 ounces retail for approximately four times the price of liquid honey and for approximately the same price as comb honey in 12-ounce packages. Beekeepers in high yield areas should seriously consider commercial production of large quantities of round sections. Those in areas with average or poor nectar flows can still produce substantial quantities of sections, but will need to pay more attention to management technique.

In the fall of 1997, this company was transferred to Lloyd Spear of Guilderland, NY. This change was made to assure the continuation of Ross Rounds, Inc. as a source of round section equipment and supplies far into the future. Lloyd and I will be working closely together during the next several months to assure your continued satisfaction.

It has been my great personal pleasure to get to know so many of you by phone, fax, and personal meetings. I have done my best to serve you and I know you will enjoy doing business with Lloyd. A beekeeper for more than 30 years, Lloyd is committed to continue to produce the highest quality goods at fair prices and with the best service. We hope you will use our equipment, enjoy using it, and profit from it. There is no better way to get to know bees than by raising comb honey.

Finally, Lloyd and I hope you will contact us with your questions concerning producing or marketing comb honey and keeping bees for that purpose. We will be adding a "frequently asked questions" to the site, and invite your input and suggestions. If you have specific or general suggestions or criticisms on this website, we welcome those as well.

We strive to produce the highest quality goods possible. We hope you will try our equipment, and enjoy using it.

Thank you for visiting with us.

Sincerely,
Tom Ross

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Letter from Lloyd Spear in 2017

Dear Beekeepers, Customers, and Friends:

In 1997 Tom Ross had made Ross Rounds into a high-quality supplier of equipment for production of comb honey, but he was in his mid-70’s and looking forward to spending more time with his wife and family. I had recently retired from the corporate world and was anxious to see if I could add something of value to the beekeeping world, and considered myself fortunate to be able to buy Ross Rounds, which I did in November 1997. 

Shortly thereafter, we commenced manufacture and sale of Sundance Pollen Traps, which are now generally recognized as the finest pollen traps in the world. 

Ross Rounds was founded in the mid-1970’s, when comb honey was primarily produced in wood frames or in wood sections. Tom Ross was an architect/engineer and used those principles to design Ross Rounds. While others offered plastic round section frames before Ross Rounds, Tom’s design skills were superior and offered honeybees and beekeepers significant advantages and competitors disappeared. As beekeepers and consumers came to appreciate the advantages of plastic, today over 90% of section combs are Ross Rounds. In the United States only one dealer even sells wood section equipment.

Pollen Traps have been available for many years, but the designs shared the same faults. The pollen collected contained unacceptable amounts of debris, the foragers faced restrictions that reduced the amount of nectar collected, drones could not leave the hive or workers used drone escapes to avoid the pollen trap, and often the pollen trapped reduced the amount of pollen available for brood. The Sundance traps incorporated design features that result in extraordinarily clean pollen, little forager time restrictions, easy drone escapes, and ample pollen available to brood, despite pollen being collected.

Both Ross Round comb honey equipment and Sundance pollen traps are made exclusively in the United States and shipped worldwide. There is no greater testament to their efficiency and ease of use. During the past 20 years I have been privileged to work with dealers and commercial beekeepers in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Central and South America, Canada, and the United States. 

Just as I succeeded Tom Ross, Ben and Kimberly Carpenter, have now succeeded me. Based near Rochester, New York both started in beekeeping about 2000, and are Master Beekeepers. I am certain they will continue to serve beekeepers well.

Sincerely,
Lloyd Spear