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Randall

BeeBoy Honey

Pittsburgh, PA

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Personal Story

I grew up in Pittsburgh's northern suburbs. Though the area has since changed, I learned early on to enjoy and appreciate open spaces and forests. My family taught me to enjoy the natural world around me in myriad way and encouraged me to learn from my surroundings. I never expected, however, to be involved in food production or agriculture.
I've been living in the city of Pittsburgh since 2004, an area with a surprising environmental culture and landscape. Now a part of a rapidly increasing market for responsible food products - an alternative to the big commercial food industry - I'm finding people responsive to passion and quality.

Business Description

I became involved in urban beekeeping several years ago, taking it on as a hobby for my own interest and the pollination of local flora. New information about the global honeybee crises impressed on me the importance of responsible beekeeping practices.
Over time my expansion provided me with a surplus of honey, which I’ve been selling to restaurants and individuals for the past two years. I'm lucky to have extremely loyal and supportive customers. Though I dreamed of becoming a profitable beekeeper, I was happy to stay at the hobby level. But the reaction to my product and practices has made it clear there is a rapidly growing market for what I’m doing.
The informed food culture is burgeoning here, and there’s an encouraging demand for my local honey. But right now I’m not able to provide nearly enough honey for my customers, current or potential. I know I’m doing a good thing with my honeybees and honey, and I want to continue to do it on a larger scale. The slow growth of beehives and limited funds have kept me on a small scale, which allowed me to learn and grow confident in my own abilities. It took a few years to figure out how to work my way around a beehive because it's a complicated place with tens of thousands of inhabitants. I can handle the labor and distribution now but lack the funds for a large expansion.
Given the widespread sale of low-quality or adulterated honey and questionable beekeeping practices, I’m proud of my respectful treatment of my honeybees and their honey. I avoid chemical treatments and do not heat, filter, or alter the honey; this makes a pure, beautiful product of remarkable quality sold within walking distance of the beehives.

What is the purpose of this loan?

Over the past two years I’ve reinvested profit toward necessary equipment purchases to provide the backbone for beekeeping, harvesting, extraction, and bottling operations.
At this point, I mostly need to buy immature and mature beehives to increase honey production and satisfy more of my market. New beehives don’t reliably product a harvestable surplus of honey until the second year, so growth has been slow. But with this loan I can buy producing hives, allowing me to harvest and sell this year. Mature hives cost around $300-400 and can produce honey worth $1000-2500 per year. Obviously there are many environmental variables, but I'm been learning for years how to keep the honeybees happy and healthy and have not lost a hive yet. Many customers are patiently waiting for me to grow. I’m working on it.
I will use a portion of this loan to set up an accounting system so I can formalize my business structure. Also I will buy bottles and labels for the physical product.
This loan would allow me to push my favorite activity and dream job toward being my “real job”. With the harvest and sale of a few more hives, I could repay this loan and continue to expand subsequent years. Eventually I want this to be how I make a living. I would be the happiest beekeeper.

Randall's loan is endorsed by Shadyside Nursery. The information below explains why his trustee thinks Randall is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.
How long have you known this person?

More than 5 years

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

I have known Randy since elementry school, we also were Boy Scouts together.

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

Randy is motivated to make the business work. I own the nursery where some of the hives are located and I can attest to Randys work ethic in regards to beekeeping

Tell us about this borrower's business, and why you believe a Kiva Zip loan will contribute to his or her success.

Bee Keeping is a low cost startup cost business and a small amount of money i.e 5K can get Randy going because the returns on hives, bees etc... is very high. Demand for the honey is good and if Randy stays on course he will easily be able to pay back the money from what I can tell.

79 Total , 2 invited by Randall
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PAYING BACK

A loan of $5,000 helps me to purchase more beehives, allowing me to satisfy the growing demand for my product.

Disbursed Mar 1, 2013
Repayment Term:
24 monthly payments
Grace Period:
6 months
Listed:
Jan 7, 2013
Disbursed:
Mar 1, 2013
Paying Back:
Mar 2, 2013

About BeeBoy Honey

Industry:
Agriculture
Years in Operation:
1 year - 3 years
Badges:
Badge_connectedness_gold_small

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
Plant Nursery/Aquaponic Greenhouse/Landscaping
Location:
Pittsburgh, PA
Badges:
None
On Zip Since:
Jan 7, 2013
(15 months)
Loans Endorsed:
1
Total Value:
$5,000
Fundraising/Raised:
0
Paying on Time:
Not enough data
Paying Back Late:
Not enough data
Repaid in Full:
0
Defaulted:
0
Repayment Rate:
Not enough data
Why are you endorsing Randall?

Randy is motivated to make the business work. I own the nursery where some of the hives are located and I can attest to Randys work ethic in regards to beekeeping

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.
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