By Cristi McKee | Photo courtesy of Cameron Ulrich / Capital City Honey Company
For local urban apiarist Cameron Ulrich, the recent pandemic actually posed a unique, serendipitous opportunity for her newly-founded beekeeping business. She always wanted to run her own company, and her passion for beekeeping and more time available at home inspired her to possibly take the leap and start her own cottage industry—so she did. With more time to focus on her apiary, learn more about bees, and create great products, her honey business, Capital City Honey Company, came to be.
A wife and mother of 2, Ulrich graduated from Florida State University and works in political fundraising. Currently, she also serves as the secretary of the Apalachee Beekeepers Association, North Florida’s fastest beekeeping organization. Her love for the Capital City, alongside her love for bees, bee education, and beekeeping inspired her to take her hobby of beekeeping and turn it into something more—something locally sourced, but also something that she could call her own. Here, Capital City Honey Company was created. Capital City Honey Company offers an array of different locally-sourced products, such as beeswax candles made of 100% beeswax, multiple flavors of raw honey, and whipped honey. The items are made in small batches and are all hand poured, artisan creations.
Ulrich’s favorite product of hers is whipped honey, which comes in organic wildflower, red pepper, cinnamon, and vanilla flavors, and is created by blending fine honey crystals into liquid honey, and then placing it in cool storage, which promotes rapid granulation. For Ulrich, whipped honey is not only delicious, but also is a versatile and convenient condiment to spread on toast and sweetener to mix into hot coffee.
A self-proclaimed “bee ambassador,” Ulrich also advocates for proper bee care and education. “Bees are wild animals. They know what they’re doing and you have to be very careful with how you’re handling them,” she says. “In beekeeping, you have to keep safety in mind. Be responsible about it. Read books, do your research, watch YouTube videos,” she suggests. You also must also focus on local conditions, she emphasizes. “What works on Ox Bottom Road is not necessarily what’s going to work in Midtown,” she explains. “Research is so important.”
One of Ulrich’s favorite parts of running Capital City Honey Company is forming connections with locals and educating them about bees: “I just love educating people about the bees and hearing about what flavors they like and what they would like to see next.” Once, she went to the Governors Club to host an event called Wine, Cheese, and Bees to give samples of her honey and educate attendees about bees and beekeeping. She brought an observation hive, and “It was hysterical, pulling up to the valet with a hive of buzzing bees in my car.” At the event, she paired her products with wines and appetizers while educating attendees about these pollinators.
All Capital City Honey Company products packaged “purposefully and resourcefully” in resealable and reusable glass jars. “Get resourceful!” Ulrich encourages. “Why not turn your beeswax candle can into a flower pot for an adorable bee-friendly flower garden? The creative options are endless!”
For now, Capital City Honey Company is a cottage industry, but the ultimate goal is eventually for Capital City Honey Company to be a part of a wholesale environment. In the future, Ulrich would like to one day have a plot of land in Midtown to expand her urban apiary, have more hives, and have the opportunity to expand Capital City Honey Company’s line of products.