WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — From a hobby to a supplemental income, there’s some buzz about a new store in Washington- and it’s focused on honey bees.
Curt Reynolds has been keeping bees for eight years but just started Brandy’s Bees a few months ago.
“The U of I (University of Illinois) has a great pollination program that they run, and it really helps you out financially to be involved in that, [so] I thought I’d get my kids involved. Well, the kids weren’t interested, but Brandy was,” he said, referring to his business partner and co-owner of Brunks. “A friend of hers called [and] had some honey bees. I went out [and] scooped them up. I got the Queen, put her in the hive, and after that she watched the bees march in, and she was hooked.”
Eventually, that hobby poured over to Brandy Sandy, and the honey they collected became quite the buzz at Brunk’s before Brandy’s Bees had its own storefront.
“As soon as we posted it, we’d sell out. So it kinda got bigger and then with COVID, we got hit pretty hard and [were] trying to figure out [how to bring] more income back into Brunks,” she said.
That’s when Reynolds and Sandy got the idea to renovate the story and make room for new merchandise.
The store has equipment for beekeeping, products made by bees and even bee themed clothing.
“We’re making candles out of our wax, we’re making lip balm out of our own wax, we’ve got a cometic clean kitchen over here that’ll be certified by the health department, Reynolds said.
While the new storefront is only a few months old, the owners want to be able to spread the importance of honey bees to their clientele, and even eventually teach them how to make their own products from bees.
“In the summer time, being able to show the kids how we harvest honey or being able to hold a class [would be great,]” Sandy said.
Brandy’s Bees is located inside of Brunk’s in Washington at 122 North Main Street. The store is open from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.