The Second Story Team
Jan Day, Entrepreneur, Beekeeper & Candlemaker
What an adventure beekeeping has been for me! It all started back in the Winter of 2011 when my friend Del, now my beekeeping mentor, invited Charles and me to a meeting of the DC Beekeepers in the basement of our church. Back then beekeeping wasn't yet an officially legal activity in Washington DC so it was with some excitement and trepidation that we went. I was curious to learn more about the hobby and meet some local beekeepers. Charles was curious if DC honey was any good. That first meeting convinced us both that DC honey was liquid gold and the world of beekeeping was fascinating. I soon signed up for beekeeping courses and began devouring books on bees and how to keep them.
Second Story Honey began in the Summer of 2016 when I began selling honey to my neighbors. Harvesting the honey gave me beeswax so I started making candles for fun. I discovered I was not only good at candle-making, I thoroughly enjoyed the creative experience. One thing led to another and I started Second Story Honey LLC the following year.
I love meeting people at local craft shows and other bee club related outreach events where I can answer questions about bees, honey, beeswax candles and related topics. I enjoy public speaking. If your beekeeping or garden club, scout troop or other organization is looking for a speaker please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this photo you can see me standing proudly next to one of my most productive hives on my second story porch apiary. Those top two white boxes (aka honey supers) hold nearly 100 pounds of honey in each. I love this photo because, you can also see Del in the frame too. He is on the right-hand side of the picture reflected in a mirror on the wall of my second story porch.
Echo, Top Dog
Queen bee of the Second Story household, eight year old Airedale terrier Echo keeps an eye on everything. She is a lively dog who can often be found on epic eight-mile hikes with Charles around DC along the Anacostia River Trail, along the Mall, and exploring the many and varied neighborhoods of our nation's capital.
For her own safety she does not take an active role in managing the hives, honey harvests or candle-making. She is a pretty hands-off executive.
Charles, Top Chef
In his off hours Charles is busy. He can be found walking Echo, writing the next great American novel, solving cryptic crosswords, and creating amazing meals. Charles is hands-off when it comes to bees, but that doesn't bother me one bit.
I know that after a tiring day inspecting hives he'll be waiting for me ready to hear all about my day and the things I discovered working the bees, a nourishing meal to enjoy together and a refreshing glass of wine (or two) to savor.
Del, Top Mentor
I blame Del for getting me into this hobby. Del kept bees with his father on their farm in Eagle Grove, Iowa. When he moved to DC he found room on his garage roof to keep a few hives. If he hadn't invited Charles and me to attend a DC Beekeepers Alliance meeting in our church basement I probably never would have taken up beekeeping. Del thought I'd enjoy beekeeping if I just gave it a try. Of course Del was right.
Del has been a great mentor to me. He is always available to strategize solutions to hive management problems and coordinate plans for inspections, harvests and more. Over past five years working together we've both become better beekeepers and had a lot of fun along the way.
This photo shows Del expertly using a hot knife to remove the wax caps from a frame of honey. I used those wax cappings for some of my candles.