Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

2 Queens Honey & Tea

2 Queens HoneyArtist and designer Charles Wilkin was ready for a change, something to bring his New York life some “danger.” Immediately, his mind went to skydiving... but when he asked his partner and friends if they’d join him on the adventure, not one was interested. He went back to the drawing board and came up with the idea of beekeeping. Bees are dangerous, right?

He now chuckles at his naivety, “I quickly discovered that bees are not dangerous at all, but incredibly gentle creatures that are so important to the world.” Danger or not, his interest was piqued. Instead of diving right in (as he might’ve off a plane), he started slow and took a beekeeping class in the city. He quickly learned about the declining numbers of honeybees and how this negatively impacts agriculture and our environment on the whole. This newfound knowledge inspired him to make it his bee-siness to change the plight of the honeybee, even in a small way.

Luckily, he and his partner had a property upstate in Narrowburg near the Catskill Mountains, perfect for cultivating a young hive... or so he thought. The first hive was a “dismal failure” (his words) due to a harsh winter, but Charles was determined. He took a more academic approach to the project, learning that there were three key components to a successful colony: plentiful water, open fields, and seasonal plant varieties. He chose strategic locations for his bee yards, stationing 15 new ones on his property and others on neighboring farms.

Like the queen bee maintaining her hive, his work keeping his colonies healthy is never done. He is constantly, ahem, buzzing between his hives and is committed to producing 100% raw honey and spreading his knowledge about the importance of the honeybee to our world.

As for the name of the company... Charles glances over at his partner and winks. Oh, hunny.