When walking by Kristy Allen’s booth at Kingfield Farmers Market you can’t help but notice a bicycle painted like a bee. Beside it is a small, and equally striking, chuckwagon-shaped bike trailer that sports a stinger.
The trailer goes by the name "the honey buggy" and is used to transport honey around the city to various events.
“This whole thing was kind of a happy accident,” Allen said speaking of how her delivery business, The Beez Kneez, got started.
After dressing like a bee for Halloween and needing to repaint her bike for winter, Allen came upon the idea of painting her bike like a bee.
This inspired Allen to start delivering the honey she harvests from her uncle’s ranch in Squaw Lake, Minnesota dressed in bee costume.
“It’s pretty neat to make people smile just by biking,” Allen said.
Allen lives in Northeast Minneapolis but delivers throughout the city.
While the idea for the business may sound funny, Allen is serious about her honey.
While Allen had helped her uncle with his bees, and has worked with bees in Arkansas and Ecuador, the 2011 season is Allen’s first year keeping her own hives. The overly-dry weather later in the summer made for a challenging year but Allen managed to harvest honey in the end of July.
This weekend at Kingfield Market Allen was selling two varieties of raw, unprocessed honey. Buckwheat honey is reddish brown in color and has a strong earthy taste, while clover and basswood honey is light gold in color and is milder in taste. The nectar of the flowers is what influences the flavor.
As Allen will tell you, the taste difference between commercial honey and local, unprocessed honey is significant. Raw honey is creamier and has a more complex, rich flavor than processed honey.
Market-goers can taste the difference for themselves at Kingfield Market on Sundays, but for those of you who never quite get up in time to make it to the Farmers Market, there’s always the possibility of getting your honey delivered by a bee on a bicycle.