By Mark Ambrogi
Karen Lancaster and Tracy Pielemeier were friends at Tri-West High School in Hendricks County, but had lost touch.
When the pair of 1981 Tri-West graduates ran into each other about seven years ago, the two found they live less than two miles apart in Westfield.
“After we rekindled our friendship we decided we want to start a business together,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster and Pielemeier started 2 Queen Bees Honey (2queenbees.com), about four years ago. Pielemeier had two hives she had been pulling honey from for about a year and many friends showed interest in buying the honey. So Pielemeier suggested they make that their business.
“We sell raw unprocessed honey,” Lancaster said. “We sell it by word of mouth, out of our cars and houses.”
The two are also members of the North Central Beekeepers Club, which meets at Westfield’s Cool Creek Park Nature Center at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday every month. They will help conduct a Beekeeping 101 class from 10:30 a.m. to noon March 19 at Cool Creek. The purpose is to instruct about bees and a beekeeper’s role. Lancaster said club members Barry McNulty, Noblesville, and Matt Evans, Zionsville, will lead the presentation. Evans is a commercial beekeeper.
“We decided we wanted to do an education outreach to the public through non-beekeepers through Cool Creek,” Lancaster said. “It like our flyer says, ‘Have you ever thought about being a beekeeper? Or do you want to know how bees affect the world around you?’”
Lancaster and Pielemeier will help McNulty and Evans will the presentation.
Lancaster and Pielemeier also have created a storage device for the frame called The Hive Butler. Lancaster said they are planning to start a crowd-funding campaign to raise money through pre-orders to produce the device.
Lancaster has a separate business called Midwest Bee Supplies, selling hive ware.
For more on the club, visit northcentralbeekeepersclub.com.