How We're Adapting To This Pandemic – Astor Apiaries

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How We're Adapting To This Pandemic

It's been a long few months. We were lucky here at the apiary to be deemed essential and able to continue caring for our hives around the city. Although that remained unchanged for us, there have been many new challenges to deal with. It's taken a little while but we've adapted and met many of those challenges with the help of technology, some key partners, and of course, our amazing customers.

Shipping Orders

Before the pandemic we relied heavily on craft fairs and markets to get honey into our customers' hands. It was great to be able to meet new people, answer questions, and share our amazing honey. It's been a part of our business that is probably missed most. To continue serving you all, we've been quickly learning a new workflow to sell exclusively through our website.

How We Adapted

Before the pandemic we used to get a handful of one-off website orders and fulfilled them as they came in. Now that the volume of orders has increased, we're batching orders and stocked up on packing materials. We've also decided to pay for a portion of the shipping costs on each order an offer $5 Flat Rate shipping to make it easier for everyone to be safe and receive their order at home. For our own safety, we've implemented a new shipping schedule to limit our exposure in busy places like the Post Office. We will be dropping off packages on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We appreciate your patience and will always do what we can to get your package out as soon as possible.

**Please note that we will continue to deliver "Local Pickup" orders daily to our friends at Astoria Park Wine & Spirits for you to pickup. There will be no delay in our usual turnaround for these orders. More details here. You can also check out our FAQs for further details.

Virtual Events

It was a complete shock to immediately find ways to deliver our classes and other planned events virtually. We had several classes and an entire beekeeping course that had to be moved online. It was a bit of a scramble, but we found a way.

How We Adapted

While we may not be able to hold them with the same frequency, we are committed to continue our classes and beekeeping course through Zoom meetings. Now that we have gotten our new hives settled for the beginning of the bee season, stay tuned to our events calendar or on social media as we post new virtual events.

We are also thankful for some of the organizations who have allowed us to participate in their virtual events. Specifically Alley Pond Environmental Center and the Queens Craft Brigade. If you know of other organizations who are looking for participants, please help us make a connection!

Making Our Honey More Accessible

It's no secret that you can find cheaper honey other places, but we've always believed that when it comes to honey, you get what you pay for. We work closely and fairly with the beekeepers who provide our honey varietals, to ensure the bees are treated humanly and the raw honey receives the respect it deserves as it makes its way from the comb to your jar. We take great pride in this process, but it's also something that requires a bit more time and effort. We've struck a good balance with our regular pricing to make sure that the beekeepers are fairly compensated and our customers aren't over-paying. However, it just didn't feel right to continue business as usual while people were losing jobs and other small businesses were on the brink of shutting down.

How We Adapted

Since we're not a large company with extra capital or resources to donate, there was no way we could meaningfully make a difference. The next best option was to make a heavy discount available to our customers so our honey had a smaller impact on their budgets. As of this post our customers have collectively saved around $1500! We intend to continue the discount and tighten our belts as long as the pandemic continues, and of course as long as our customers are also feeling the pinch of little or no work. We are in this together and are grateful for the support you've shown back to us. We thank you!

**To use this discount, use the code 'STAYHOME25' at checkout.

 

This has been a very trying time for everyone and we've all had to adapt to this new (temporary) normal. Please remember that this will all pass and we will soon be able to have a drink at a bar, eat with friends at a restaurant, or simply hug another person.

Don't forget to thank the workers that keep us well and keep the city running, and support the local businesses that you want to see remain open after the pandemic. Don't let the fatigue of staying home so long stop you from showing your support. Many businesses who had savings may be running low on funds at this point or in the near future. The bills and rent keep coming and every order counts. :)

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If there is anything we can do to partner or work with others to make this time more bearable for our neighbors, please drop me a line at nick@astorapiaries.com. I'd 'bee' happy to help where I can.

-Nick

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