Vintage Alchemy's Beekeepers
I feel so strongly about saving our bees. It's because of this that I wanted to make sure I used as much natural beeswax and honey in my products as possible. What better way to achieve this than to hook up with local beekeepers so that I could completely trust the raw ingredients I was using.
As a side note, I see a lot of crafters purchasing beeswax from Amazon. Now, I'm not saying there aren't plenty of reputable suppliers there but do you really know? Do you have any idea where your beeswax and honey are coming from or what process it has gone through? No thanks! Plus, why not shift those purchasing dollars and support a small business?
I found my beekeepers by going through the New Jersey Beekeepers Association.
Not only are the bee
keepers there reputable but I could also read what products each beekeeper offered. It gave me a good sense as to whether or not they'd be able to meet my needs.
After contacting quite a few and getting a feel for each, I decided to work with Mary and Ed Kosenski from E&M Gold Beekeepers. From my first interactions with Mary, I knew I wanted to work with them. When you know it's right, you just know.
Mary sat down with me for a virtual interview to help my customers get to know E&M Gold and their amazing bees. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
VA: When did you start keeping bees?
Mary: Here in NJ, we began to keep bees in the 1st year we bought our house, 23 years ago. Prior to moving to NJ, in my single life, I kept a few beehives in MD, while living on a farm with my siblings. My father had been transferred to Atlanta during the Carter administration. He worked for the government. I stayed in MD to finish High School along with a brother and sister. We became independent hippies, keeping bees, goats and growing our own food.
VA: Why did you start keeping bees professionally?
Mary: Ed and I saw a movie starring Peter Fonda, who played a beekeeper, “Ulee’s Gold”. After I told Ed that I had kept bees many years ago, and commented on observations in the movie, he went out and found a Beehive for sale. He bought it and then told me about it.
VA: How did you hone your craft?
Mary: We joined the Central Jersey beekeepers Association and took a Beekeepers Short Course at Rutgers. After several successful years, we began to research better bees, and traveled to Baton Rouge LA, and UC Davis, CA, to learn about specific races of Honeybees and queen rearing techniques.
VA: What was one of your most rewarding experiences you’ve had working with the bees?
Mary: Queen rearing was very rewarding, as I took pride in my genetic bee stock. Each year I invested in breeder queens from which I produced daughters that displayed behaviors that gave them great advantages against the parasites and diseases to which honeybees are susceptible.
VA: What’s the one thing you’d like people to know about bees and/or beekeeping, etc.
Mary: Honeybees are very important to our environment and to agriculture. 1/3 of all the food we eat depend on honeybees for its production through pollination. You can help the honeybees by avoiding pesticide use in your lawn and garden.
Special thanks to Mary and Ed for all they do for Vintage Alchemy. I can't imagine buying my beeswax and honey from anyone else.
Looking for wedding gifts or bridal shower favors? How about beeswax candles? Check out Mary and Ed's website!
Interested in learning more about Ed and Mary? Check this out!