Katrina Yetman has been as busy as a bee in the past few years, working to have her message pollinated across Kamloops.
Yetman has been educating those around her on the positive impact bees have on the community. Born and raised in Kamloops, Yetman is a mother of three and founder of Honey+Hive.
Honey+Hive initially started as Yetman’s husband’s hobby, but as he became too busy, Yetman began taking care of the bees herself and she hasn’t looked back since.
“I wanted it to be more than a hobby,” she said.
So, in 2018, Honey+Hive was born and continues to grow. The company now consists of 11 active hives, as well as five more to be established this year.
Nine of the hives are located in Cherry Creek, 10 minutes west of Kamloops, at what Yetman calls her “bee command centre.”
The two other colonies are what she calls “corporate bee hives” and have been placed on the roofs of buildings in Kamloops.
Businesses and corporations can apply to have Honey+Hive place and look after a bee hive on their roofs. This provides a unique opportunity for companies in the community to further their green agenda and contribute to the conservation of bees.
Many local businesses in Kamloops, including The Art We Are café downtown and florist Fern and Frond east of downtown, sell Honey+Hive’s honey in their establishments.
Gold Leaf Pastries in Dufferin and Brynn’s Bakery and Alchemy Brewing Company downtown have purchased the honey to use in their own products.
Along with its honey, the company now sells a line of T-shirts, designed by Yetman, and a honey-infused candle.
Carly Harding, owner of Gold Leaf Pastries, has been buying honey from Honey+Hive for more than a year. She originally purchased individual bottles of honey from Yetman to sell in the retail section of their bakery, but after learning how overproduced honey has become, Harding said it “bothered her tremendously.”
Harding said she was impressed that Yetman’s honey is a local, single-origin product, noting Gold Leaf now uses Honey+Hive’s honey exclusively in all of its baking.
Harding added that she “loved supporting [a] woman in business” and that Yetman’s positive attitude and outlook have made working with her “a beautiful experience.”
Yetman’s positive attitude has also helped her in dealing with the pandemic. While COVID-19 has been tiring and upsetting, it has not slowed her or the business down when it comes to educating others on the importance of bees.
Yetman said that besides face-to-face markets — which have been shelved due to the pandemic — the company’s primary point of customer contact is via email and social media.
“I try not to let COVID have too much of a bearing. It already affects enough,” Yetman said.
“That’s something that I liked about the bees — they didn’t stop [when the pandemic started], they just kept working and taking care of their hive because they have one goal, one common goal, that the health of their hive would continue. And those were good lessons for me.”
Hone+Hive is online at honeyandhive.ca.
Cassidy Martin is a third-year journalism student at Thompson Rivers University.