Have you ever been intrigued by learning a new hobby, but you kept putting it on the backburner because you were intimidated? This was me with beekeeping. I was not confident in my success to care for a hive filled with thousands of bees. Lack of familiarity was my biggest obstacle. A couple of dogs and plants felt like a little less responsibility to me.
Earlier this year MadTree started encouraging employees to grow with each other by personally sharing what we are wanting to learn outside of beer. This was it. My great opportunity to learn more about beekeeping, and I was shocked how many coworkers were as well. Thanks to Samantha and Scott, the owners of Bee Haven located in Cincinnati, we were able to get a hive behind our production facility to learn more about these fascinating insects. My apprehensiveness quickly turned into a thirst for more knowledge and time with the bees.
I remember the day when Sam and Scott brought our bee ladies to MadTree, there was so much excitement literally buzzing around. Everyone was so pumped to welcome them to their new home. It was such a beautiful sight to see them flying all around us and some even gently landed on us checking out their new home! I found myself checking up on them throughout the next week during slower times in the brew day, just to make sure the little ones were adapting comfortably.
After Sam confirmed the bees were established in their new hive, I finally was able to put on the bee suit for the first time and peer into their world. About every two weeks I checked the hive with Sam to ensure the overall health of the hive. It was absolutely fascinating to see these ladies at work and have a look into their micro-society. To be able to see an actual hive’s makeup and not just pictures in a book is something I wish I could experience for the first time over and over again. What the bees created over the weeks of caring for them was absolutely breathtaking.
Through my reading and discussions with Samantha I didn’t think we would harvest any honey this year. But lone and behold, our ladies love MadTree as much as you do! Our hive produced forty extra pounds of honey this year. Everyone was quite shocked by our little ladies production numbers.
This wonderful news brought up a new question, “What do we do with this extra honey?” With everyone believing we wouldn’t have any extra this year, the question needed to be solved quickly. Many ideas were discussed but in the end we all agreed that we wanted to share this story and the honey. The adventure started with a curiosity, blossomed into a passion, and has brought so much joy to myself and coworkers. We realized our bees are taking us down the same path as our beer, and the only logical next step would be to share our product with our beloved community. So this holiday season you can have some of the delicious honey our little ladies produced in our holiday pack. As part of our Craft New Memories sweepstakes, each bundle will include a bottle of honey from Bee Haven that was produced on-site at MadTree. 25 winners will receive a bundle to keep and a bundle to give to a friend or family member.
All in all, I’m still so ecstatic that my interest in beekeeping has turned into what it did this year. I’m thoroughly excited to see what the future holds for this new found love of mine, and what our kick ass little ladies produce next season!
–Brittany Frey, MadTree Brewer