In the town of Plymouth, New Hampshire, locals have taken it upon themselves to help the bee population flourish. Not only do they collect honey, but the main goal is for the bees to stay strong and pollinate other plants as well. To help meet this demand and educate customers, Rand’s Hardware has become a trusted resource for the regional beekeeping association and those interested in the hobby.
Not only does the store maintain an extensive and growing selection of beekeeping products, but it also has become a hub for individuals to learn and chat with others passionate about the hobby too, owner Glenn Dion says.
“Rand’s Hardware hosts a seminar with the regional beekeeping association,” Dion says. “I also make sure our team members are educated about the beekeeping products we sell, as well as the hobby in general. This helps ensure we are an expert resource for established beekeepers as well people new to beekeeping.”
Becoming a destination for beekeeping didn’t happen overnight, however, and Dion says they have grown a lot in the past three years by partnering with their regional beekeepers association.
“Our co-op offered a planogram for beekeeping about three years ago and the vendor shared that there was a beekeeping association practically in our backyard,” he says. “I told them that we were planning on bringing the products in and asked them to look at the inventory to see if there was anything missing we should add. We put together an idea that they would come in during the spring to put on a seminar for our customers.”
The event went over so well the first year that the store decided to host it again. The second time, they had so many people interested sign up that they decided to host two seminars in a day, with 40 people signed up for each, Dion says.
What has made the collaboration even better is that Rand’s Hardware offers the products needed, while the association sells the bees to make money for their association, making it work out for both parties involved.
“The association sells bees and we give people a discount for bee resources,” Dion says. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody. We are a resource for the beekeepers, and they are a resource for us and our customers.”