We started The Natural Shopper over 20 years ago to bring all natural supplements made from beehive ingredients to the public. We knew, from much research, how beneficial bee pollen, propolis, Royal jelly, and honey can be to a person’s health. Over the last two decades, we have written many articles on the possible benefits including allergy relief, immune support, help with fertility, stress and weight management, and so much more. We have also followed closely, the plight of the bees that make the ingredients in our supplements, keeping up to date on colony collapse disorder and watching, with a heavy heart, as some bees have been added to the endangered species list. We also follow many beekeeping and gardening groups on social media so we can stay informed on the best practices for attracting bees to your garden and keeping them safe and healthy.
Recently, we moved to a farm in rural Virginia. We have lots of space and are having fun planning gardens. Several weeks ago I was walking the dog in the field. It was one of our first warm spring days so we were really enjoying being out in the sun. I noticed that there were a lot of bees buzzing around on the weeds in the field so started to wonder what the weeds were….but that is a blog for another day. Later that day I was in town and saw a sign on our local farm store that was inviting people to come and “meet the bees” that Saturday. It made me start to wonder. I oversee the manufacturing of our bee supplements, I make bee-themed jewelry, I have been playing around with different honey recipes, and have been experimenting with skincare formulas using royal jelly but there is one thing I have never done and that is actually kept bees! I so admire beekeepers and what they do. They are constantly striving to keep their bees and their hives healthy. The beekeepers that supply the raw ingredients to The Natural Shopper are some of the best out there. But do I have what it takes to keep a beehive? So last Saturday I went to my farm store and met the bees, well actually I met Mark and Sheila Andrews. The husband and wife team that own Sourwood Branch Bee Farms. They showed me the hives that they build on their farm and described some of the equipment needed to get started. They were really helpful and informative. Lucky for me there is an all-day beginning beekeeping class being taught in a nearby town this Saturday. I signed up and am very excited by it. We will see what happens. I will post updates on our facebook page throughout the day.