• T.R. Hutchinson-Owner Operator

Owner-operator Update: Transparency in Operations

I've always believed as a long time advocate in transparency of operations and disclosure of all information not related to trade secrets that a regular operations update should be given as to the status and moves of a company and their reasons. Because of this belief I feel that it is time to give our first update on our company's standing and current progress.

We have raised $90 thus far on our gofundme fundraiser in an attempt to gain our larger Apiary and begin operations on our property with an office, classroom, warehouse and honey kitchen. Working with the USU Small Business Development Center we have scaled back to a smaller start that requires about $80,000 to begin operations with a smaller number of hives and no real property for headquarters. No buildings, nothing but our hives, operating equipment and an Apiary truck to work mountainous orchards or fields.

While we do not expect the truck to cost as much as $60,000 we are planing for the high end due to the fact that we require the use of an Apiary crane to lift palatalized hives. These hives when fully loaded can weigh as much as 450#'s or more depending on how much honey is stored and how many bees are in them. The Apiary truck with a flatbed facilitates the transport and moving of hives for whatever means, such as a time when the orchards or fields are being sprayed, mowed down or irrigated, or worked in which requires us to move the hives. We will start with a smaller number of hives, maybe 5 at the least, but the more money we can raise through our jumpstart campaign, the more hives we can get to start. With more hives the sooner we'll be able to move into our own Apiary and begin operations more in line with our beliefs and wishes that also fulfills our mission statement to provide more healthy bee forage as well as more forage in a smaller amount of space.

We are working with the Ford Dealership in Ogden to secure an Apiary truck with a crane that is rated for our specifications.

While this continues we continue to network and outreach as far as we can to try and get our message further on what we are trying to accomplish at the Mystic Earth Apiary LLC. My wife gets in touch with more people than I do as her personal networking is larger than mine, I've mostly lived a solitary life and have very few friends. Not many people enjoy the things that I do, nor do they like to spend so much time out in the back country. I like to say I was raised on the trail, although a lonely trail as my youth was mostly in the mountains. Irregardless we are making headway.

Our social networks are growing and we're now attempting to secure the funds necessary to jumpstart our operations and begin raising Queen Honeybees as early as June of next year. The sooner we have funds available the sooner we can start. In order to make our deadline of spring bee package shipments we have to get our orders in as soon as possible at the end of this year to secure them. Without bee packages we have no bees to raise Queens and we must wait another year to begin. We don't have that kind of time, starting the Apiary isn't just about the bees, although it is a major part of it obviously, for me, this business is about the freedom to work as my own boss, and to be able to take care of my family when they need me there for emergencies, doctor visits and just sometimes for me to just be there. I've lost jobs due to emergencies in which my employers were not forgiving, we still have bills to pay and they are not getting paid while I'm out of work.

In a later phase of development with the Apiary we will have employee's, especially once our wood shop is operational and begins the task of producing hives and equipment for the Apiary as well as for sale. Rule number one in our policy book is that family comes first, and no employee will be faulted, fired or discriminated against for tending to their families due to illness, emergency, or in need of a mental health day. There are checks and balances in place of course since we still have a business to run, but when an employee's family needs them, they will be given all the room they need to tend to their families. An employee is not an piece of equipment, they have thoughts, feelings, emotions and health of their own and we respect them as human beings and understand that life can be difficult. No one decides to just leave a payday behind, no one just decides they don't need the income, especially in today's world. Decisions to stay home from work are not easily made. We respect our employees to be up front and honest with us. Proof in some cases will be required and follow ups will be made, not only because we have a business to run, but because we care about everyone who works for us, and their loved ones.

We're excited to be on this journey and excited to see everyone that joins us on our journey. We're excited to teach people about beekeeping and to help beginning beekeepers along the way. Knowledge is power, we're happy to share it, we're happy to see our fans, supporters and customers succeed with our products, and we enjoy seeing the joy that create because we love what we do.

Work continues on our book about beekeeping, a very voluminous and comprehensive book. Books take time to write, there are many factors involved, research and acquisition of materials and permissions. So far we have 13 pages written and waiting to be edited, photographs and special segments need to be edited in. Confirmations are pending on materials to be posted.

In the meantime we continue the work that we started. Every Monday we will post a Hive Medical Spotlight article, every Friday we will post in every group that we are allowed another round of our group page as "advertising" to bring more members into the fold and help us build our swarm and build a honeycomb network so we can all build something sweet together. This isn't just about one beekeepers journey. We are all connected, we are all human, and all of us here most likely are beekeepers, or the curious to soon become beekeepers. This noble hobby, art, craft or industry, however you want to look at it, started over 10,000 years ago. The first depiction of honey hunters was found and dated in Spain. Domestication or keeping of bees began roughly 4,500 years ago according to archaeologists in Egypt, having read the tombs and temples walls showing the art of beekeeping. We carry on a tradition that has thousands of years of history.

Together we can achieve success and help build the apiary, we depend on our supporters and customers. We depend on the bees to not only provide the food that makes its way to our table, but also for the career that I'm trying to create. Help us get there, and we'll help you along the way as we all travel down this golden road of milk and honey. Together we can enjoy the mysticism of the bees. And we promise and guarantee to always be transparent, open and honest with our supporters and customers.

We hope you're as excited as we are, and we can't wait to see those green fields littered with flowers in the spring, watch thousands of bees harvesting nectar and pollen from the spring maple flowers, stare in wonder at the rainbow of pollen entering our hives. And marvel at the magic of Queens emerging from their cells not knowing who or where they will be going to rule their own hives. It's a journey not only of the forced need to provide financially, but also a journey of the heart and the spirit, a love that will never die and will always continue to provide. The glory of nature is alive, and it's buzzing for us to reach out for it. Join the swarm, help support the Mystic Earth Apiary LLC.

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