Avital’s Apiaries

Ithaca, NY

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Honey bees are at the heart of this business in more ways than one. Not only do they count on their honey, wax, and propolis as ingredients, but they’re a pretty good example of values: they work together, and they work hard. They’re family-oriented, generally peaceful, but they don’t take any guff, either.

When they started this business, they understood pretty quickly that they were also creating a work culture. Every decision revealed priorities. The first, easy decision was always to pay a living wage. Just like in a honey bee colony, all jobs are ultimately skilled jobs, and everyone deserves the dignity of a living wage. Decisions around ingredients flow from their values, too. Would they use it on our bodies? Is it good for the honey bees and the world in general?