Solon family all abuzz about beekeeping; honey, beeswax turned into natural body products
By Lindsay Betz, Sun News, 4/24/2010
…After their first season of keeping bees, the Rzepkas realized they would have a surplus of honey and beeswax, despite the fact the whole family loves the raw honey from the hives. David said he can get about 75 pounds of honey from one hive during the year.
[Visit beecology.com for products and pricing.]
“We wanted to do something with all of it, and making candles was just too easy for us,” David’s wife Amy said. “So we decided to try to make lip balm.”
So David — a self-proclaimed “tinkerer by nature” — started combining different ingredients in the basement to try to make lip balm, soap and other body products. He also consulted a chemist for advice on the formulas.
The whole family soon got involved — including their three children, Molly, 18, Rachel, 16, and Nathan, 14.
“A lot of my friends have tried the lip balm, and they like it better than Burt’s Bees,” Rachel said, adding she constantly has to replenish the lip balm stock in her backpack since her friends always take it from her.
The family recently got a warehouse in Bedford Heights to mix bigger batches of the products — and so David would stop making big messes in the basement.
Last summer, the Rzepkas sold their natural products at local farmers markets and will do the same this year. They are also hoping to start selling at local boutiques…