Anyone who has stopped by Dave Barrickman’s tent at the Statehouse Market knows that Wildflower Ridge Honey Products is “the bee’s knees.” Honey lovers are buzzing about a long list of items fashioned from the hives of Barrickman’s bees, including honey candy, lip balm and even skin creams.
Read on to find out how this accomplished artisan and longtime beekeeper has taken the “sting” out of finding fresh, natural honey products in the Hoosier State.
Q: Beekeeping is a unique way to spend retirement. After finishing your previous career, what made you want to take this hobby and turn it into a business?
A: In 1991 I bought a small farm west of Anderson. I knew someday I would retire from my job as a stationary engineer at Delco-Remy, and I decided that beekeeping would supplement my retirement income.
I started to increase my hives and have had anywhere from 40 to 150 in various places in Hamilton, Madison and Boone counties. It has become a full-time job.
Q: You learned the art of beekeeping at a young age from your grandfather. What is some advice he gave you that has helped you with your work at Wildflower Ridge?
A: Pay attention to Mother Nature. She guides what will transpire this year and next year — winter too long or too cold; summer too hot or too dry. There may be a late spring or no spring at all. Always pay close attention to the queen. Her strength predicts the servile [nature] of the colony.
Q: You sell several different varieties of honey alongside other products made from it. What are some of the more unique items manufactured from honey that Wildflower Ridge Honey Products also sells?
A: Our whipped honey in six unique flavors, honey peanut butter, apple butter with honey and herb-infused honey are a few.
We offer a line of handmade luxurious soaps that include our own honey and beeswax. Our line of handmade lip balms are made with all natural ingredients including sunflower oil, shea butter, honey and beeswax. We offer pure and natural Indiana honey.
Q: What do you like most about the Statehouse Market?
A: Great people, perfect time of day, nice location.
Q: As a beekeeper, what do you believe are some of the reasons for the dwindling bee population and how can the issue be addressed/remedied?
A: This is a loaded question; I could talk for hours on this subject. You don’t want to hear me rant on about this subject. We’re up against “big brother” here.
Learn more about Wildflower Ridge Honey Products by following them on Facebook.