I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Erika Ruppelius says that making honey is a family passion that she, her sister, and both her parents are involved in, even though the name of their business is Two Sisters Honey, after her and her sister Shaina. Ruppelius says that the family has been in the business of making honey for over 10 years, and that while her Dad is the primary beekeeper, she herself is fascinated with the whole process.
RUPPELIUS: I’m always out there asking questions about the bees, how they work, how they live, how do beekeepers do this and that. I always find it really fascinating, especially how beekeeping has developed and what it is today.
They now care for 80 hives, which helps them keep up with the demand at local farmers markets for their honey products.
RUPPELIUS: We’ve started to kind of branch out a lot more. We do sell the pollen. We’ve also used our beeswax in a few products. Me and my mom make the soap, the lotion bars, the lip balm.
Beyond the processing, which they do right in their own backyard, and selling their honey, Ruppelius says she really enjoys the people she meets at the farmers markets.
RUPPELIUS: I’ve found that I really love doing customer relations - talking to people, answering their questions. Spreading, you know, you should buy from local businesses, the benefits of buying local products and here’s how honey and bees are good for you.
Two Sisters Honey produces wildflower, lavender and mint honey, with each have their own distinct flavor and color.
RUPPELIUS: When we take our bees to a mint field or a lavender field we’ll definitely notice a change in the color; especially if it’s in the middle of a farm it will definitely be different because that’s the main crop that the bees are traveling to.
You can find Two Sisters Honey on Facebook at Two Sisters Honey and Brewery.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.