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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Customer question --missed opportunity

    I'm embarrassed to say I missed a great opportunity. While selling honey at the farmer's market, a customer says, "So I hear the bees are dying and in short supply. What can the average consumer do to help the bees?"

    I stammered and rattled on about living more "green," using less pesticides, asking what's in the food we buy and the water we drink and moving toward products that use the least amounts of chemicals, and buying products that don't threaten bees by polluting our environment.

    He was satisfied, but I felt my response was lame. How would some of you answer that question? And is there anything the average consumer can do to directly help the bees? The more I think about it, the less I think I know.

    Somewhat jokingly, people tell me they want to help the bees by buying a jar of my locally-produced honey. I find such magnaminity only really helps me.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    I would have answered like this.

    I would say that we are doing the best we can to boost up the numbers of bees again because nature depends on them. The problem for local beekeepers is the cost of bees and equipment. Tell him that if he would really like to I would be happy to buy a hive in his name and even paint his name on the hive. That way he can be assured that his money is actually going to support live bees that are improving the environment. Get his email address and send him a pic of the hive he supports.

    You increase your hives, he feels good about helping the environment and what the heck kick in a bottle of honey once a year to him.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,786

    Default

    Good question Grant. I have had the same problem happen to my many of times. What do I say with out getting too involved or too brief, or venture against the customers or landowners bias or beliefs.

    I dont think I have answered that question the same way when asked. the answer seems to depend on who I am talking to!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    -Somewhat jokingly, people tell me they want to help the bees by buying a jar of my locally-produced honey. I find such magnaminity only really helps me.-Grant

    Hi Grant,

    My opinion is that buying local honey is the best way a consumer can help the bees. When people buy local honey, it supports the local beekeeper, which allows the beekeeper to succeed and expand his operation, and increase demand permits new beekeepers to enter the business and succeed also. More beekeepers in the area mean more bees to pollinate crops, fruits and nuts for regeneration of forage needed for bee habitat.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    577

    Default

    I get that question frequently as well. I usually tell the person that they can keep a couple of colonies or, if that is not possible, they can plant bee friendly plants or trees on their property and encourage others to do so as well. One helpful thing is to get involved with community planners and encourage them to use nectar plants in parks, wildlife preserves and on roadsides. This has been very successful in many areas.

    Of course, purchasing local honey is a good way to support beekeepers and, thus, bees.

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