Why would someone such as myself engage in the art and business of beecraft- the raising of honeybees for the purpose of gathering honey
In my research and involvement with the beekeeping community I found 3 things that I consider the prime opportunities for engagement from a business standpoint.
1) Honey is virtually unregulated by the USDA, being considered an ingredient rather than a food.
It’s GRAS when unadulterated by additional ingredients.
“Also note that from the USDA Rules and Regulations, “…honey does not require official inspection in order to carry official USDA grade marks and since there are no existing programs that require the official inspection and certification of honey,…””
2) There is a lot of product misinformation and confusion regarding purity and health benefits with regards to the type of honey being sold.
3) Most honey sellers are farmers or small apiary operators, not necessarily trained in aspects of business like product packaging, branding, marketing, and because beekeeping is, until more recently, an old-timey profession, these sellers are not as adept to digital content creation and social media management as others.
By “others” I mean namely myself and the leadership team I’m in the process of forming- The Hive, as it is to be named.
Chasing Honey Farm is not out to nickel and dime farmer’s market shoppers on flavoured honey straws and over-priced soaps that you’ll never use because “they’re too pretty”. What we’re aiming to do is increase the product knowledge to a target market and help consumers of raw and cut comb honey and related bee products use their favourite products more efficiently and effectively.
How many times have you thrown out a 1/4 jar or half a honey bear because the honey crystallised in the container and is too much of a hassle to get out or too time-consuming to go through the process of slowly heating the jar in hot water to re-liquify the contents?
I do it all the time. Especially with cheap honey. Because it costs less for me to crack open a new jar than fuss with the last tablespoon of honey at the bottom of a jar that is ALWAYS out of reach of spoon and knife.
Packaging. Packaging. Packaging. If “location” is the buzzword of real estate, then “packaging” should be a principle concern of honey sellers.
Why? Because the containers that have been traditionally used for honey [namely 1lb cylindrical jars, honey bears with their myriad crevices] don’t facilitate the complete use of the product you purchased. I would be willing to place a bet that any honey container you’ve ever owned was discarded with some honey remaining.
And I have to ask from a product design standpoint- how can we package this liquid gold in a way that is more functional, visually interesting, and allows us to tell a story with the product and not blend in with the crowd, sticking their honey in huge jars and difficult to reach honey bears.
You may think this is a misplaced rant, but seriously, in my life I’ve nuked (and accidentally melted) in the microwave honey bears with plenty of honey in them, just crystallised at the bottom of a container. And that’s the worst thing you can do to honey. Heat destroys all the benefits of honey except sweetness and baking properties. And the toxins in the plastic leach into the honey in the microwave. DON’T DO IT.
So that’s the first project we’re tackling in Season 2015, aside from getting people signed up for the HoneyShare℠ Co-op: packaging trials- the purpose of which is to determine the best way to package honey to maximise usage and efficiency of usage. We’re talking single-serve (I saw a really cool example of this at the 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show in NYC) and portion controlled bottling to facilitate ease of use and complete use of the whole bottle.
And in order to do that, because frankly I don’t make enough money in my day job to fully fund this venture, I need your help. And you can do that by pledging your support in exchange for some awesome discounts and rewards through our crowdfunding partner, MoolahHoop.
There you can watch our 30-second promo video and get in Season 2015 at Chasing Honey Farm. And don’t wait, there are only 7 days left of this limited offer. I might not do another crowdfunding event before the next season begins. And we’re talking up to 50% off the purchase price of a whole beehive, with proceeds of honey or money on offer.
Chasing Honey Farm from MoolaHoop on Vimeo.
I might run another crowdfunding campaign, but the rewards won’t be hardly as generous as this initial offering. So do or do not, as Master Yoda would say. There is no “try”.