I’m Lesli Sagan. I’m the founder and owner of Avital’s Apiaries.
Back in 2004, I owned a house in rural Upstate New York, and worked full time (and a bit more) as a system administrator. I started keeping bees as a way to unwind after a hard day at the keyboard, a way to get back in touch with wood, wax, and nature after a long day (or week) of technology. I got hooked pretty quickly.
I soon had honey to spare for friends and relatives, and used a bit of extra beeswax to make lip balms, hand creams, and candles. I toyed with the idea of building a sideline business that would, eventually, supplement my distant retirement.
Fast forward to August 2007. Life changes. I had moved into town, was marrying, and then pregnant. In June of 2008, my daughter, Avital, was born, and instead of the 7 hives I’d had in 2006, I was down to 2 or 3, and my “retirement” had happened–sort of. I traded in one full-time job for another.
By the time Avital turned 3, though, it was clear that she needed me a bit less, and yet… there was no going back to 60-hour-a-week workaholism. So I increased the hives from 3 to 17, and Avital’s Apiaries was born.
My bees make honey. Of course they make honey! And the honey is magnificent. Lightly filtered through a 600 micron sieve, this honey tastes like you dipped your finger in the comb and licked it. Not just sweet–white sugar is just sweet. The honey crop in each location and each season tastes a bit different: some bold and minty, others mild and floral. It all depends on the bloom and the rain.
There’s more to honey than taste, though. Honey is a natural humectant: it draws moisture to itself. That makes it great for baking–your baked goods stay moist and fresh longer–but it’s also great for your skin, either alone as a mask or as part of a balm. In soaps, honey adds fragrance, moisture, and boosts lather.
And then there’s beeswax–fragrant, golden beeswax that makes long burning candles. But beeswax is so much more than something to burn. In balms, it seals in moisture with a light coating on your skin that doesn’t clog pores, helping to heal even the worst chapped and cracked skin. In soaps, it helps to make a hard, long-lasting bar and imparts a faint, but rich scent.
I love the things that my bees make, and my goal is to use them in a way that reflects their unique, natural origins. Balms and soaps are made with pure vegetable butters and oils, scented and colored only with herbs, clays, and essential oils, and never adulterated with petroleum products, parabens, or phthalates.
I hope this inspires you to try our products. Or to plant a bee friendly garden. Or both!