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 In HearSway, SwayStyle

What’s the buzz on the new shop in Vass?

Will-a-bee is a market focused on raising awareness about the importance of honey bees and living sustainably. It features products that are all eco-friendly. The shop will have products made by Mary and other small businesses that are primarily women-owned. 

“Just like a hive, my shop works thanks to a bunch of women coming together.” 

Mary tells us that there are many parallels between hives and humans. For example, if you don’t take care of a hive or if there are lots of environmental hazards, the hive will not thrive and can even become sick. Humans are like that too with their immune systems. You want flowers to be blooming around your hive just like you want a healthy environment for yourself. Part of the mission of will-a-bee is educating people on this and offering sustainable options that help both the community and the bees. 

The products in Will-a-bee were all picked intentionally including beeswax candles, homemade (by Mary) eco-friendly laundry detergent, dishwashing powders, soaps, cups and of course, honey. 

“Everything in here is because of the honey bee,” she tells us.

There will even be a honey tap, featuring a rotating selection of honey from local farms — bring your own clean jar or get a recycled one in exchange for a small donation.

But it’s not just about the honey bees produce, it’s also about the role they play in our food system. 

You will also find UpDog Kombucha offered and fresh baked goods that will offer what is available seasonally. Mary has a background as a pastry chef and is excited to bring that aspect of her life into her shop. 

This summer, local produce stands will be set up outside of the shop featuring different local farmers weekly. 

The small shop has big goals. Since starting in 2020 online and with popup markets to opening a brick and mortar, Mary sees potential in the area as more people get interested in the environment. “I want to eventually grow out of this space and swarm to a bigger location,” says Mary “but ultimately I want to bring forth change no matter how small as long as it’s consistent.”  

One of Mary’s focuses in her own hives this year will be raising quality queens, with good genetics, to be dispersed throughout the area. She strongly believes in the genetics of a queen making for a successful hive. “I don’t treat my hives,” says Mary, “that is typically frowned upon in the bee community but I think if your queen has good genetics, it will lead to a stronger hive. The stronger the hives in the area, the less of a need for treating hives there will be.” Overall this would create a stronger bee population which is beneficial to the whole ecosystem. 

Photo Contributed

The grand opening of Will-a-bee Market is on Earth Day, April 22. Hours for the shop will be 11-5 Friday through Saturday and 11-3 on Sunday.

  • Follow along on instagram for giveaways leading up to the opening, as well as info on the official celebration with natural tie-dye, face painting and more.
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