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9642 Randle Rd
Williamsport, OH, 43164

Honeyrun Farm produces pure raw, honey, handcrafted soap, and beeswax candles in Williamsport, Ohio

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Feeling Irrelevant on Open House Weekend

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

First and foremost, we had a good day didn’t we?

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Clear blue cloudless skies, bright sun, temps in the fifties. Sunday was like a dream. It was so awesome to see the girls out and about. Dare I say happy? If we could only get one of those days every week, I think I could hang on. I think I could bear the rest with no complaining. Is one day too much to ask? Apparently so. It’s looking like thirty degree gray crap for the next seven.

So we’ve been doing a Christmas Open House for a few years now. It’s grown and grown. This year they came from all over, north and south. You came from all over. Thank you!

We ran out of parking. And at one point, even getting to and from the honey house proved tricky.

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A day before our gorgeous dreamy Sunday, Saturday brought buckets of cold, cloudy wet crap. Just a dash of water. But it didn’t seem to slow the Christmas shoppers.

In anticipation, we got the place cleaned up and cheered up.

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Heated up and brightened up.

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Just inside, there was a multitude of free homemade cookies and Christmassy drinks.

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And if you wanted to hang around the cookie table, you could get yourself a quick honey bee education. Nothing like sugar to spur an education.

Further on, the big extracting room became a full on store.

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Just about every workable space was filled with something.

I do have one nagging fear with this Christmas shop- one of these years, either a great honey year, or someday when we have few hundred more hives, we’re going to run right up against extracting season. Meaning, we’re going to need this space for its original purpose.

What do we do then, dear wife?

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And I have another fear. A fear that slowly grows as the years go by. And this year, browsing around this makeshift shop, that fear became even more evident.

I’m becoming irrelevant.

Let me explain as we look around the shop.

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My dear wife doesn’t need me.

Me or my bees.

Just look at all the great stuff she’s dreamed up.

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Without me.

Without lifting a single super in the summer…

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…or feeding a single hive in the winter.

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This business was once about the bees paying the bills. Every surplus cent, it seemed, went right back into buying more equipment, which turned into more hives, which in turn gave us more honey. I was happy to bask in the glory of being the (much needed) beekeeper.

Well things have changed, haven’t they? We now sell far more gift boxes than buckets of honey.

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It’s called retail!

It’s called wholesale!

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It’s not the same as wholesaling honey. Even when you wholesale gift boxes, it’s pretty much like retail.

Now people even come and put their own gift boxes together. We just provide the box.

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How easy is that?

All this to say, we are slowly looking more like Burt’s Bees… and a lot less like Burt the beekeeper. Burt is becoming irrelevant.

Let’s face it, anyone can produce honey. Even comb, even infused.

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It takes someone special, some combination of business savvy, foresight, and creativity to turn standard old bee products into what I get to witness in my extracting room every December. And what you get to find online all year.

It’s all Jayne.

So what do you think? Will she keep me around? Even if I insist on messing with bees for a few more years?

Way back in the day, Burt insisted on messing with bees. His partner, Roxanne Quimby wanted to look into lip balms and lotions. Burt was having none of it. He decided to sell his third of the business. $130,000.

Do you know what Burt’s Bees is valued at today? I’ll tell you: Right around One Billion!

Oops.

One billion dollars.

Sometime in his later years Burt Shavitz was asked if he regretted selling out so early. He took a nonchalant attitude. He shrugged…. Ah, Burt’s Bees… been there, done that…

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…got the t-shirt.

Just happy to be here

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

What a load of crap, this weather.

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Tis the season… let the complaining begin. For some reason, this year seems a bit worse than usual. I can tell it’s pretty bad when I actually look forward to my weekly Columbus deliveries. I know, some of you have to look at that awful gray mess of traffic every day, and I feel for you. I really do. I don’t know how you go on.

I guess it just makes our rare sunny day that much sweeter.

With the rain and the cold I’m now volunteering almost daily to take big bags of packages to the post office. Just to be warm and dry for a while. Just to feel some kind of purpose on another non-beekeeping day. I can zone out, I can reminisce, I can plan projects, or better yet, I can listen to a podcast. Of late, Joe Rogan and Bill Burr have been parting the clouds. Sam Harris, if I really want to think. And I’m open to suggestions… it’s looking like a long winter.

So did you have a good Thanksgiving? Judging from last week’s heavy grocery store orders, I think quite a few of you basted that turkey and covered those bread rolls with local honey. And believe you me, you’re better for it— having that bottle of golden nectar within arm’s reach— A sure fire way to impress your holiday guests. Trust me on this, it’s a clear sign of intelligence. A mark of culture. A touch of class. A dash of grace. A note of refinement. A stroke of finesse. A kiss of elegance. And of course a conversation piece, as you already know. Regaling your guests with your seemingly infinite knowledge of the natural world… You are wise beyond your years.

And what about the big game? Did you catch the game?

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Yes, we sure did. And this year it definitely lived up to the hype, didn’t it? What a rivalry! What a clash of the titans! At one point, red in the face and screaming, it almost came to blows. They had an intense argument over the technicalities. As the official ref, I had to step in and explain that there’s really no difference between P-I-G and C-O-W. You’re still out in three misses. No reason to fight about it.

What a battle! What a weekend! And on a side note, flipping sports, we saw Ohio State beat Michigan.

Again.

For whatever reason, the kids just don’t see what the big deal is. However, they do like explaining why we can’t use the letter M when talking about Xichigan. They learned this in school. And they thought it was important to retain. I’m glad some things are sticking.

Between rainy days, we find things to do.

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And we try to beautify the place wherever we go.

Here we have a beautiful dumpster ornament.

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And here, Eden models a beautiful hive ornament.

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The past two weeks, when it’s dry enough, my little princess has joined me in collecting hives. We’ve amassed quite a few.

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We’ll be taking these girls into the apples next April. I’ve learned that it’s much easier to have them all in one place when that call comes, rather than running around at night, fighting the mud in the spring. Plus, it’s easier to take care of them here at home.

Eden entertains herself with my phone while I pick up pallets.

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Sometimes I’m just amazed at what she’s able to capture.

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If that ain’t fine art, I don’t know what is.

Between yards, we enjoy the fruits (and nuts) of her genius.

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Having spent years in sunny Colorado, I sometimes wonder what I’m doing here. Then when I think back I realize, even surrounded by those beautiful mountains, I probably complained at least as much if not more. It was just about different subjects. Not the weather. I found other things— things of my own making. Loneliness and moneyless and general aimlessness probably topped the list. And when I think hard about it, maybe I should count myself lucky that the Ohio weather sits on top of the complaint list these days. What’s a rainy day now and then? One or two or six in a row? Who cares? At least I have a purpose. At least I have a good job.

And you really can’t beat the good company.

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