I first came across Wild Hive Honey at the Crossways Farmers Market. This market is held on the first Saturday of every month at the Crossways Village, approximately 40km outside Port Elizabeth.
Casey and Jeff have a stall at the market and sell honey and beeswax products.
We bought a big jar of honey because we use it in the kitchen as a sugar replacement and we tend to go through small jars quite quickly (I have a very sweet tooth).
We will definitely be purchasing another jar, as it is delicious. We would also like to purchase their other products to try out, as I’m all for natural body products.
We reached out to Casey and Jeff after the market and asked them if we could interview them for this blog. They agreed and what follows is the interview.
Q: What was your motivation to start this business?
A: After many years in a high-pressure corporate environment we decided to change careers and become beekeepers in the much quieter and vastly more satisfying rural Eastern Cape. Honey has always been a major ingredient in our daily health regime, replacing sugar in our kitchen and our first aid kit. The bees fascinate us, and we never stop learning from them.
Q: How do you decide on your products and create a range that keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out?
A: As we made the transition to more natural personal products, any items containing pure beeswax, honey or propolis, such as moisturisers, soaps and healing salves, were created and used by ourselves for a number of months.
We took the items we enjoyed the most, and after using them for a few months, we would then assess the feasibility of making them by hand and their cost to the consumer. If these proved viable, we would trial them at our local markets for a period of three months. Anything that became popular was made available on a regular basis, items which remained unsold were quietly moved back to private use, so there was never any waste.
Family and friends also were also important guides along our creative journey, providing valuable feedback and constructive criticism.
Q: How do you go about sourcing your ingredients so that they’re as sustainable as possible?
A: When researching any ingredients, we always try to source local first. Many visits and phone calls are made to check on the source, availability and freshness of the ingredients needed. On the occasion where local sources are unable to provide an item, we will then investigate online sources, reading up carefully regarding the ethics and integrity of the company’s operation.
Sustainability, freshness and costing are priorities in our decision.
Q: How are you running your business in a sustainable way?
A: Good maintenance, close attention to detail and careful, respectful handling of the bees, ensuring that they are never excessively stressed, exposed to chemicals of any type, and that they are protected against predators, are all key to keeping the colonies safe and secure.
Q: What motivates you to keep going?
A: We feel privileged to work with these complex and fascinating creatures, in one of the most scenic and magnificent locations to be found. We are constantly learning and having our boundaries pushed in knowledge and experience, which makes getting up every morning a joy to anticipate.
Q: What has running your business taught you?
A: Never take anything for granted, be appreciative and humble when life is generous, be gracious and courageous when challenges arise, and most of all, keep calm, be kind and carry on.
Q: What would you like to communicate to the wider community through your business?
A: Bees are the song in our gardens, please be patient with them, respect their hard work and please, PLEASE, take care to avoid using any pesticides, fungicides or chemicals in your gardens. We cannot survive without them and they are already listed as an endangered species, they need all our support and care wherever possible.
They are happy to take your empty jars, as they sanitise and refill them. They encourage this, and customers are welcome to drop off empty jars with them on market days.
I highly recommend you purchase products from Wild Hive Honey.
They put such thought into their range, and take care to supply high quality products to the market. This integrity in business operations is a quality I value highly in those I purchase from and those I do business with.
Hi, we are Eon & Melissa
We are a husband-and-wife team who are parents to a beautiful dachshund called Milo.
We are on a journey towards consciously choosing better options for the products we bring into our home and use in our daily lives.
We are sharing what we learn on this website and blog.
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