Marketing a beekeeping business – Part 1
When Peter’s interest in bees commenced, his initial thought process was the same as most people – buy a hive or two and go from there. As Peter researched more and more, he found a great deal of fascination and awe at what an insect could do, and his idea of running a bee business began.
Our background includes private and public commercial operations, management, leadership and IT. We knew how to build business for other people. Now we need to build a business for us.
In the early days of our bee business, I helped kick-start Odd Acres Apiary with the administration aspects while Peter focused on building momentum in beekeeping. Once Peter was travelling well, I left him to it and returned to focus on my things.
Peter then began asking me how to do certain operational aspects of the business. I offered my suggestions, and they worked. I helped on the apiaries on my spare weekends, became a road warrior at one stage when we shifted an apiary over several nights while the bees were sleeping, and emerged as the Odd Acres Apiary photographer with assistance from our family.
As we pivoted this way and that way to navigate our way to where we saw the position of our bee business, I asked the question – “How do we market a bee business that is different from commercial and armature bee businesses?”
To answer my question, I needed to become hands-on to understand how a bee business functions in the field and behind the desk. In doing so, I could see a bee business is down-to-earth, with no fluff, prettiness, and fancy beauty or photoshopping in a human form like many other businesses and industries rely on.
I found the beauty in a bee business is the bees and the accomplishments the bees achieve, no matter what bee species. The beauty is in preserving the environment, understanding and protecting the bees to ensure our planet benefits from the work the bees do daily. The bees are our planet’s thermometers – if the bees die, something is seriously wrong with our environment, the availability of our food sources and life in general for all living creatures on our globe.
I have found to communicate with people interested in bees, Peter and I need to market our business at a relatable and authentic level. Like the gorgeous photograph above of our first of many more native Kangaroo Paw flowering in our garden, I had to start where we were, use what we had around us and do what we could to build our business to support sustainable practices for the current generations and generations to come, both bees and humans.
Watching and learning about the bees and seeing what consumers are looking for, including the beekeepers, gave me the canvas to break down our marketing into bite-sized pieces and work from there.
Walking into this opportunity, I knew some approaches would work and others will not. I was sure that if we didn’t get off the start line and have a go, how would we know what was possible?