I moved into a great big warehouse/apartment/production space last December that happens to have historically been a honey business. It has been an art gallery and studio space for a sculptor for the last 20 years, but there remains a small "on your honor" honey stand out front. My landlord has brokered honey from a gal down in Arlington for years, and the customers are both loyal and frequent.
Because I rent and not own, I don't have regular access to the honor system honey sales. I f I wanted to, and I did back during tulip season, stand outside all day and sell honey or anything else for that matter, it would be fine. But I mostly don't have the time or desire to spend my days out there. That is, until about a month ago when the honey lady ran out of honey and the stand began to sit empty.
Since 8/2 I've been stocking the honor system stand with my very own honey, each day expecting to be the last, and have had a mostly enjoyable experience. I put out about 10 pints and 1-2 quarts of honey each day, with some days being busier than others and a daily inventory of sales to keep track of what sells best.
Except to my despair, the inventory has become more of a way to gauge how much honey is stolen on any given day. Not everyday, but enough is taken that after a month's time, I just can't justify leaving my products unattended any longer. Last weekend $120 was stolen on Saturday, and just today $45 out of $70 worth of product gone was from theft. In a months time, over $300 in my honey has been taken by a person or persons that, well, I don't know why they do. Maybe they get high off of stealing, or maybe they feel justified for some reason. Maybe it's one person doing the bulk of it, but likely it's a sad trend that so many people take what isn't theirs from a system that relies on personal honor. It takes one bee it's entire lifetime to produce just one teaspoon of honey. It takes me having 67 hives and half the year to produce about 2,000 lbs, which is barely enough in sales to pay my bills. I have $2,000 in taxes from last year that are due by November from just $19,000 in total income from last year. I don't take handouts from the government or family. I haven't bought new clothes or shoes or a purse in years, in fact most of my pants have holes in them. I cut my own hair, do my own nails, and live rather frugally because I've invested everything I have in this business. All because I believe it will get bigger and better and someday more profitable, and because up until this experience, people have been overwhelmingly supportive about wanting local honey and bee products.
So there you have it. If you drive by the honey stand on hwy 99 just south of mt vernon and it's locked up, just ring the buzzer and i'll come out. a million thanks to the awesome, loyal, and honest majority out there, and sorry a couple bad apples had to spoil the whole bunch!!!