Doctor's honey makes money for Tenn. hospital

An internist finds beekeeping is a sweet hobby that fits well in a busy schedule.

By Victoria Stagg Elliott — Posted May 31, 2010

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Making sidelines pay

Business Pitch

Doctors who branched out beyond running their practice tell why they did it, how they did it, and what you should know before you do it.
» Other installments

Name: Jim Jirjis, MD

Specialty: Internal medicine

Location: Nashville, Tenn.

Company: Dr. Jirjis' Pure and Natural Tennessee Honey (link).

Annual revenue: Dr. Jirjis didn't reveal those figures. But he said he sells about 500 eight-ounce jars annually at $7.33 each. A portion of the profits are donated to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Jirjis is Vanderbilt's chief of medical information and director of adult primary care.

Why he started the business: Dr. Jirjis started beekeeping a few years ago because some friends of his owned hives. It not only looked interesting, but it also was something that he could squeeze into his time-crunched schedule.

"People can get started beekeeping for only a couple hundred bucks for the equipment and hives," Dr. Jirjis said.

"And it's a great hobby for busy people. If you buy a horse or a dog, you need to feed and water them every day. With bees all you do is create the environment. They go out and find their own water and food.

"You can ignore them for a month and come back and have all this honey."

He created a label for the finished product, featuring a picture of him with a bee on his nose, and got his two children involved in processing and packaging.

The honey is available through Dr. Jirjis honey website. He is also marketing to companies that can buy jars in large lots to pass out as gifts to employees or clients.

Why he keeps practicing: "I absolutely love my job, but I also like to expand my interests."

Words of wisdom: "Time is the biggest problem for a physician. You need to find a business that does not require a lot of time."

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn