One of the things people appreciate, hobbyist beekeepers in particular, is that there’s someone to talk to, a resource they can call upon. Ethan’s a wealth of knowledge — probably beyond what some people want! — and he loves sharing that.
Sometimes we’ll have people come along with him if they want to see what he does. Today he has a young boy with him working out with the bees, learning about beekeeping. He loves teaching the young kids and older people, adults as well.
Ethan grew up with beekeeping. His grandpa Mitchell was a beekeeper, so he’s been around it since he was about 10 years old. That’s where he got the knowledge of beekeeping. They had their own little business together in high school, but when he went off to college they closed it down.
Soon after we got married, Ethan decided he wanted to start again with a couple of hives. He thought he could do it on a large scale someday.
Right now we have around a thousand hives. It’s just my husband and I doing most of the work. He does the bee work. I bottle the honey, ship it to stores and make the candles.
You naturally get beeswax from the bees, but we hadn’t had enough in past years that it was worth making candles. But now that we do have a large amount, we’re going into candle-making. We’ve only been making them for about a year or so. It’s just using all the products you have.
I enjoy the fact that we can be self-employed, and run our own business. It’s a blessing. It’s awesome, really. I’m excited to help Ethan follow his dream and to have the chance to meet other people in the community.
A lot of people are really excited about what we do being so close to home because a lot of local stuff isn’t so local, really. Customers like that New Paris is where they can find their products.
And no, they’re not usually scary. Bees are pretty nice unless they’re feeling threatened.
Trenna Mitchell, co-owner, Mitchell’s Honey Company, with husband Ethan
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This summer, we're taking a look at some of the small farms and urban gardens you'll only find in Goshen! More stories to come through September.
Written and edited by Wendy Wilson
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