‘There’s nothing we can’t fix’: Busy Bee Computers opens in Greenfield

Jake Benedict works on a computer at Busy Bee Computers at 22 Federal St. in Greenfield.

Jake Benedict works on a computer at Busy Bee Computers at 22 Federal St. in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Busy Bee Computers at 22 Federal St. in Greenfield.

Busy Bee Computers at 22 Federal St. in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Carol Parker, Doug Ely and Jake Benedict of Busy Bee Computers at 22 Federal St. in Greenfield.

Carol Parker, Doug Ely and Jake Benedict of Busy Bee Computers at 22 Federal St. in Greenfield.

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-28-2024 11:12 AM

Modified: 03-28-2024 4:50 PM


GREENFIELD — Business has started buzzing at Busy Bee Computers at 22 Federal St.

The family-run venture opened in mid-January and patriarch Doug Ely said he has carried over most of the extensive clientele he built up while operating the business out of his home.

“Anything that you plug in, we fix, or we sell,” he said. “There’s nothing we can’t fix.”

Busy Bee Computers also dabbles in upgrades and sales, and Ely mentioned he has started selling retro video game consoles, such as Atari.

He runs the business with his partner, Carol Parker, and stepson Jake Benedict. The plan is for Benedict to take over the business in five or six years. Parker, whose sister-in-law cleans the space on weekends, said business has picked up recently at the shop, which was most recently the home of Great Spirits Tattoo Co. The tattoo shop moved to Russell Street in Hadley.

“It’s tax season, so we get a lot more customers,” she said.

The business name was Parker’s idea, as her mother was named Beatrice. The name also embraces the city’s connection to apiculture. The Rev. Lorenzo Langstroth, of Greenfield’s Second Congregational Church, patented the first movable comb beehive in the 1800s and is considered the father of American beekeeping. This history is commemorated with bee statues in the downtown area and the annual Bee Fest at Langstroth’s former church.

Ely, who grew up in Easthampton, said his work in the computer field started when he was 5 years old and his father bought him a TRS-80 computer from RadioShack.

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“It was a cartridge machine. So you had to put a cartridge in and you had to write your own program if you wanted to play [“Pong”]. And when you took the cartridge out, the game was gone. It didn’t have no hard drive or anything like that,” Ely recalled. “After about a month, I tore apart the whole computer. He was kind of mad, but when I rebuilt it, it was double as fast as [when] I got it. So, then, he was happy. That’s how I started off.”

By the time he was 15, Ely was handling repairs for neighborhood kids, and by 17 he was working in a computer shop. He eventually went to school for the craft. Ely also offered computer repairs and technical support for The Literacy Project on Bank Row.

Busy Bee Computers is, at least for now, open seven days a week. The business can be reached at 413-240-5999 and busybeecomputers@yahoo.com. Its website, busybeecomputers.com, is expected to be up and running soon.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.