Bee Happy Honey director, Marcia Bernard, has been producing honey for eight years. Her interest was piqued at the age of nine when her grandfather Solomon Hibbert, a soldier and bee-keeper, would take her to his apiaries. "I would always want to help when he was doing any bee-related activity," she told Thursday Food. In her adult years, Marcia's interest in bees resurfaced and so she decided to make a business of it.
For her, it was all about the possible positives that would come out of starting a honey business. Among those positives Marcia lists: minimal pilfering; one only has to visit the apiaries once every two weeks, so it's not time-consuming; beginning with five to 10 apiaries means that the initial investment is not too high; there is readily available help from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, and the demand for honey is greater than the supply. Armed with this information, Marcia went into production, although she had no factory of her own.
She has been producing the honey between her home and her hives in St Catherine. "After you reap the honey, there is no processing. It is just bottled. My hives are in St Catherine and that is where I extract the honey most times, " Marcia tells Thursday Food. "Occasionally I do it at my home in Stony Hill. I bottle and store at home because I have the space for storage," she continued.
Marcia went on to tell Thursday Food that she is hoping to establish a location outside of her home, primarily for other products which may need a factory setting.
Not yet on supermarket shelves, Bee Happy Honey is in the process of being bar-coded. However, the honey can be found in a number of pharmacies and small shops.