October 20, 2022
My husband Phil and I started keeping a single hive in 2008 as a hobby. Over the next several years, our enthusiasm grew and our hobby became a passion, then the passion became our business. Phil received his Master Beekeeper certification and started teaching classes, mentored new beekeepers, and did lots and lots of presentations at local schools.
We wanted to have a store that expresses our admiration for everything honeybees do for the planet. To that end, we carry a wide variety of products that are either directly or indirectly related to honeybees: mead, sauces made with honey, honeys from around the world, skincare products with beeswax or honey, lots of candles, and beautiful home goods.
We are a central place where beekeepers can extract their honey conveniently, and buy the equipment they need for their apiaries. Of course we recognize that managing a hive of bees isn't for everyone. The store gives guests an opportunity to learn about honeybees, safely see the workings of the bees in our observation hive, and support local beekeepers who sell their honey and beeswax products.
A lot of people are curious about beekeeping, and there’s certainly been an uptick in activity in the past three years. Interestly enough, a lot of people became beekeepers during the pandemic. It was a great hobby to start when folks were at home.
There are almost 40 beekeepers within 40 miles of our store here in Portland. A lot of people think beekeepers are living in rural areas in the countryside, but that’s a misconception that is changing. Beekeepers can and do live in our cities and have hives at all sorts of locations.
This year, we celebrated our 11th year in Deering Center. Phil and I really involve our business in the community and love meeting visitors and locals alike. It’s especially uplifting and rewarding to hear people tell us how much they enjoy our store, since it’s a labor of love. It feels great knowing our business is helping others and that we get to share our love for bees every day.”
— Meghan Gaven, co-owner of The Honey Exchange in Portland