-Posted by Isaac
First and foremost, we had a good day didn’t we?
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.
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.
Heated up and brightened up.
Just inside, there was a multitude of free homemade cookies and Christmassy drinks.
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.
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?
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.
My dear wife doesn’t need me.
Me or my bees.
Just look at all the great stuff she’s dreamed up.
Without lifting a single super in the summer…
…or feeding a single hive in the winter.
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.
It’s called retail!
It’s called wholesale!
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.
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.
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!
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…
…got the t-shirt.