We put a table out in the driveway with some bears and a jar with a sign saying “Honey $6″. We sell a lot of honey this way. The honor system works. You can get 12 oz bears of honey at the supermarket for $4 or less, but we charge $6 for real local honey that is not adulterated, medicated or fiddled with. We are selling between $40 and $60 worth a week.
Sometimes people want to take the tour and if I’m here I’ll open a hive for them.
Erica spent the day making lip balm and hand cream from the wax we harvested. I leave the comb on the hive, but when I uncap the comb I get some wax. I melt this in a double boiler and filter out the lumps and dead bees. It makes beautiful pale yellow beeswax.
Erica is taking this and mixing it with sweet almond oil and shea butter. She makes it thicker for lip balm and creamier for hand cream. We bought some tubes for the lip balm and 1/4 ounce containers for the hand cream. Erica also made up some 4 oz jars for herself. The hand cream is great. I goes on oily but soon it is absorbed my the skin leaving a coating of beeswax. It makes your skin smooth and nice feeling.
Erica added peppermint oil to the lip balm and it tastes like Christmas.
We only have 12 of each, but since the experiment was a success, I will order more containers and she’ll make more. I have to make labels for them and we will sell them for about $3 or $4 each.
I have about two pounds of wax which I figure will make 120 lip balms or hand creams. I want to buy some fancy 1 ounce glass jars. I’d sell those for $12 an ounce. For each ounce of beeswax we use nearly two ounces of almond oil, so two pounds will make 5 pounds of stuff which is 120 1/4 ounce containers or even more of the 0.15 ounce lip balm tubes.
If we sell all the honey and all the lip balm and hand cream we will be on the way to breaking even on the bee expenses. This is only the second year of beekeeping. Next year I expect to do twice as well.