Being beekeepers with a passion for the simple life, Bee, Honey & Hive is a company dedicated to the sustainable management of honey bees and the promotion of pollinator conservation.
What makes your business one of the best small businesses in your community?
Bee. honey+hive is one of the best small businesses in Transylvania County because we are working to provide high-quality, locally produced honey AND we raise a beneficial insect!
We stand out in our community in particular because there are no large-scale beekeeping businesses in the county that are producing a year round supply of honey to meet the demand from the public, restaurants, and breweries. In addition, the large majority of beekeepers in Transylvania County are hobbyist who generally produce just enough honey for personal consumption. Very few are actually selling in a retail or wholesale capacity as we are set up to do. Simultaneously, our business helps support the #1 industry in NC, which accounts for 17% of the state’s workforce. There are 221 farms in Transylvania County, covering17,929 acres of farmland. Our honey bees pollinate much of this area resulting in increasing productivity and crop yield.
The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.
How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?
Ed Carroll was super helpful in getting our business launched in early 2017. He was an active listener, who seemed to generally want to see us succeed and grow organically; encouraging us to take logical, incremental steps as we began to expand our business. He was particularly helpful in getting us to focus and streamline our ideas, which has resulted in a clear path forward. Ed asked great questions that stimulated and challenged the way we thought about our official business launch. In 2016, he reviewed our grant application for the Transylvania Economic Alliance’s Business Expansion Competition, helping us develop clear and concise answers to the questions we were being judged on, resulting in a second place award.
Please describe the specific ways that your business has been successful and how it will grow in the next year.
Our beekeeping business began as a hobby with 1 hive in our backyard. As we gained experience and knowledge over the past 10 years, we have been able to use the revenue generated from our local honey sales in order to grow in a debt-free manner. Our gross sales increased to just under $10,000 in 2017. Last year our business took a huge leap forward by officially registering as an LLC, launching a website, and making additional equipment purchases. This growth was made possible by a grant from the Transylvania Economic Alliance who recognized the positive impact and growth our business is experiencing. In 2018 we are poised to increase our honey production,while adding educational workshops and beekeeping tours as additional revenue streams