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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own a beehive? Well, with Hiveshare, you CAN!! Read on to discover how Chris has helped many people do just that and hear all about what it takes to run an apiary!

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I’m a photographer who wanted to give back to society and make a difference somehow . . . then I discover bees! My focus shifted, pun intended, and I am now a fulltime beekeeper. My summers are packed full of beekeeping duties and winters are for product development & manufacturing.

Where did your business idea come from?

I wanted to do something meaningful with my life & help the planet. The news was full of the issues with honeybees. I thought if I contributed with one hive, I would be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. then I fell in love with beekeeping & have expanded yearly to what will shortly be 100 hives!

What would you say has been your biggest learning curve since beginning your business?

Probably getting used to insects climbing on you & the occasional sting, which don’t really hurt for very long, 5-10 minutes. You are dealing with live animals, livestock, and learning when to intervene and when to leave them alone is a big slippery slope. I hate it when bees die, but it is part of being a farmer. On the marketing side with Hiveshare products, learning what your customer needs is tricky, giving them a natural alternative or solving their problem is the pay off!

Where do you get inspiration for developing new products?

I get inspiration from day to day life. I’m always thinking what products can make it easier and use fewer toxins than mass produced items.

How long does the average item take for you to create?

From idea to market can easily be six months. I don’t let anything out before months of testing.

What is the story behind your business name?

Hiveshare was conceived for people to own an entire hive or a share in a hive without having to manage the bees or harvest the honey.

I manage the bees, making sure they are protected from predators and disease. Place them in a specific location that will provide an ample supply of food, water, and flowers for fresh nectar and pollen. Once the honey is extracted and cold filtered, it is delivered to your doorstep in a food-safe pail.

Do you ever make anything for yourself?

I use all my products all the time! Unfortunately with the exception of the Paw Wax, as my pup passed away shortly after it was developed.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Travel. I travel as much as possible in the winter months. I go to France & Portugal to help other beekeepers, learn and share ideas. I’m always looking to hook up with other beekeepers, some of my product ideas have come from these friendships.

What is your bestselling item? Why do you think it is the most popular?

Besides honey, in the fall & winter, it is definitely Paw Wax. Probably because it’s the snow & ice season & owners want to help their pets out without those silly boots! In the summer my Solid Lotion Bars are very popular. Dry skin & insect bites are two issues it helps with.

Do you do this full time? If not, how do you balance your day?

Yes, beekeeping and marketing Hiveshare is fulltime, but I also am a social media strategist for clients across Canada, the U.S.A. and in Europe. I assume their identities online and post on their behalf on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, as well as design & building websites.

Did you take classes to learn the skills you utilize or are these self taught practices of trial and error?

I have taken some beekeeping & marketing classes, but mostly learning on my own. Draw from being self-employed for over 30 years as a photographer.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next year? No limits! Where would you like your business to go?

Grow my apiaries & grow my product business. I am developing some proprietary items and want to develop items that are not on the market yet.

A vacation relaxing on the beach, or exploring the local culture?

I would last about 5 minutes relaxing on a beach before I’d try & see if there were any local beekeepers! I love exploring local culture, eating the local cuisine and trying to speak the language. One of my favourite adventures was getting lost in rural Portugal where no one spoke English. I had to get by with broken Portuguese, sign language and pantomime, loved it!

Connect with Hiveshare on social media to snag your own deelish treats and see what the bees are up to!

Etsy: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/Hiveshare

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hiveshare

Instagram: www.instagram.com/hiveshare

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