GateHouse News ServiceCara Bowman always had an interest in beekeeping, but for a while, that’s all it was.
Then, opportunity presented itself.
“There was a group meeting in Quincy (Mo.) having a beginning beekeeping class,” she said. “So I took that, ordered my bees, and started that April.”
Before she knew it, Cara and her husband, Dane Bowman, didn’t have to pick up honey at the grocery store. They had their own supply at home.
“The first year, we got enough just for us, and then the second year, I got quite a bit extra, and then I’ve had people ask for it. They knew I was a beekeeper,” Cara said.
“Typically, about 100 pounds of honey per hive. This year, I don’t know what’s going on with the bees this year, and it could be the weather, but I’ve got one hive that’ll give me honey this year.”
The Bowmans are big honey eaters, so having their own bees to raise was perfect. But when word got out, the requests came in.
For the past few years now, Cara has been marketing Babes of the Woods Pure Honey.
“It was a lot more work than I thought, initially. I thought I put the bees in and let them do their thing, but there’s diseases of mites, and it’s almost kind of like livestock, you have to find treatments. You can be proactive and give them medicines –– I kind of let nature take its course. If they want to swarm, I let them swarm. Then I capture swarms in town and other places to kind of keep my bees going,” she said.
And honey isn’t the only product Cara is able to put out there. Her Babes of the Woods line has also allowed her to market lip balm, wood wax and almond oil. A product she wants to try for in the near future is creamed honey.
Needless to say, things are going well for the woman who thought she’d give beekeeping a shot.
“It’s been good,” she said.