Revealed: the secret to a buzzing business, by husband and wife entrepreneurs Ric and Charlene Chapman
Business is buzzing for entrepreneurs Ric and Charlene Chapman – and it’s not just because they have built their new venture around caring for more than 2.4 million bees.
Since the husband and wife team launched their business, Bee Amigos, in 2020, the company has gone from strength to strength.
Like many of the world’s most successful companies, Bee Amigos began with a daydream.
Ric and Charlene had what Ric describes as a ‘brief encounter with a beehive’ several years ago and the seeds of a business idea started germinating.
“It was all that was needed for us to realise what we really wanted to do in our spare time,” Ric told tsoHost. “That spare time activity has just continued to grow, and we’re just as fascinated now as we were back then.”
Today, Bee Amigos has permanent apiaries in Tongue End, Langtoft Fen and Market Deeping in Lincolnshire.
In addition to producing 250kg of honey every year (that’s 1,000 jars) the company is deeply involved in honeybee conservation (the native Apis Mellifera Mellifera species in particular) and countryside restoration – work like planting trees and rewilding projects.
“We really want to support the communities in which we operate by working to improve outdoor natural spaces for both people and wildlife and to restore are countryside,” Ric told tsoHost. “It's all about regeneration, sustainability is no longer enough. We hope this approach on our farm will be what attracts others.”
Education is also a big part of what Bee Amigos do. They currently work with more than 200 schools and community groups like Scouts and Beavers to teach children about the natural environment and food provenance.
Despite having progressed their business in leaps and bounds in the past 18 months, Ric and Charlene have no intentions of taking their foot of the acceleration pedal.
“We have ambitions to grow,” Ric explained. “In all areas of the business – beekeeping, conservation and education.” To fuel that growth, Bee Amigos has recently launched a website.
Powered by tsoHost’s cPanel Ultimate hosting plan and protected by an SSL certificate, the website showcases the company logo, which Charlene designed herself.
“There were many iterations of the logo design,” Ric revealed. “It encompasses the hexagonal honeycomb which sits centrally to the overall flower design. The petals individually are honey drops so we get to use the logo in interesting ways across different mediums.”
The current website also features details about the company, news, and customer testimonials, and Ric is in the process of getting the Bee Amigos online shop up and running.
“Through the hosting plan and SSL, I've been able to market my business more effectively than ever,” Ric said. “Moving sales online is an exciting new avenue of business for us which we're looking forward to exploring in the years ahead.”
So what advice would Ric and Charlene give to other entrepreneurs at the start of their business journeys?
“Having the right support network around is important, both personal and professional,” Ric explained. “You need a family supportive of your endeavours whilst surrounding yourself with businesses and suppliers that you can trust.
“Also, don't be afraid to put yourself out there, people will dislike or love what you do so just do it and adjust as you go. Websites are a great way to express yourself and to expose your business to the outside world. Not enough small businesses are taking advantage, it's much easier than it used to be!”
When it comes to hosting for these websites, Ric and Charlene recommend tsoHost.
“tsoHost is a reliable and responsive host provider that provides me with the support that I need and when I need it,” Ric said. “Coupled with an easy to use online portal there isn't much more I could ask for.
“I have also reached out to support a few times and they're by far one of the best online support services I've come across, with a previous career in IT I can safely say I've come across a few! Always someone available at most hours of the day and I get a high first-time fix rate which means tsoHost will be having my business for a while yet!”
To learn more about Bee Amigos, visit their website at www.beeamigos.co.uk.
You can already buy honey in the online shop. If you buy a jar, be sure to follow Ric’s expert advice on how to use it.
“Baking and breakfast are obvious favourites for using honey,” reveals Ric. “But I've recently discovered something new.
“Replace chutney on your cheese board with honey. I'm serious. It's an incredible replacement and different types of honey give rise to different ways to eat, along with different flavour combinations to explore. Remember that you heard it from me first. Honey + Cheese + Crackers.”