In this Sit Down I met with Brent Wesley from Akron Honey Company, and he told me all about his bees and his honey-dos. He attributes his delicious tasting honey to time and location, two basic concepts that make a world of difference to your taste buds. Wesley devotes his time and energy to ensuring his bees are stress-free and have sufficient space within the hive, in order to produce the best quality honey possible. Wesley strategically started his apiaries (a group of managed beehives) in locations that have a variety of nectar sources ensuring there is no need to feed his bees supplements like sugar water, which influences the taste of the honey produced. Wesley’s natural and raw process takes time and he releases his honey a year after he harvests to complete his process and to avoid the possibility of taking too much due to the demand for the current harvest. Another stress reduction technique involves controlling the space within the hive; by giving his bees the proper amount of space to produce their nectar he reduces stress and improves productivity.
You mentioned your nectar extraction method is different than most, please explain your process and what makes it crucial to your business?
Our harvesting methods are what help to set us apart. We walk the neighborhood landscape to know what our bees are going to. We only harvest in small batches and don’t mix honey from different seasons or from hives of different locations. This allows us to show off our honey in its most floral identifiable way. When we extract the honey, we do not strain or filter at all. This way everyone can experience the honey as it is directly from the hive.
What is the most interesting thing about keeping bees?
They are nothing like what most people know them as. And no matter how long you’re keeping bees, you don’t really know what they are about to do. You just know what they should be doing.
For your new skincare line, how did you come up with the scents/flavors?
We conducted a research study with University of Akron students during which we discovered that our existing scent ‘cedar hive’ wasn’t easy for our consumers to digest. In response to seeing our ‘cedar hive’ scent, a group we were working with said that we “should make it easier to understand. Something like woodsy, floral, and citrus.” If it made sense to fellow millennials, that’s the direction we wanted to go.