When I give presentations on marketing honey and other products from the hive, I use the story of Burt’s Bees as an example of making money from bees, and the importance of marketing. While being as successful as Burt Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby does not happen every day. I have known a number of beekeepers who turned their hobby into a nice side income.
From The Associated Press, July 6, 2015
Burt Shavitz, the Burt behind Burt’s Bees who co-founded the natural cosmetics company, died Sunday. He was 80. A spokeswoman for Burt’s Bees said in an emailed statement Shavtiz died of respiratory complications in Bangor, Maine, surrounded by family and friends. Shavitz is known for being a character from the backwoods of Maine, but he grew up around New York, served in the Army in Germany and shot photos for Time-Life before leaving the city. He was a hippie making a living by selling honey when his life was altered by a chance encounter with a hitchhiking Roxanne Quimby. See below link for the rest of the AP article.
For some additional links about Burt’s Bees
Office webpage of Burt’s Bees (the company): http://www.burtsbees.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-burtsbees-Site/default/Default-Start?cm_mmc=PPC-_-google-_-Brand-_-burt%27s+bees&gclid=CLGX5KjbycYCFVg6gQodLbIN8Q
2007 NY Times article about Burt’s Bees: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/business/smallbusiness/16burts.html
2008 New York time article, about sale of Burt’s Bees to Clorox for 913 million dollars: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/business/06bees.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
2014 NY Times interview with Burt Shavitz: