Un-Bee-table answers

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frequently asked questions

I know there is a distinct lack of representation in the beekeeping industry and autistic community of anyone who is perceived as not what society normalizes. I commit to re-defining normal as diverse and inclusive through my business as much as I can. What once started as a mission to represent non-traditional weddings as a photographer became one that believes you shouldn't have to put 'LGBTQ+' or 'same-sex' in front of the word wedding to find equality online. I believe Black Lives Matter. I believe I live in a country built with stolen labor and stolen land. I commit to prioritizing inclusion and racial justice both in business and outside of it.

Carrie Swails and Second Breakfast Honey & Soap are a business that commits to being a safe space and seeks to include and advocate for all identities and cultures within its services.

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the mission statement

Diversity, equity, & Inclusion are a priority.

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My 5 Core Values:

Media in the world, normalizes being young, white, thin, cisgender, able-bodied, and heterosexual. It considers anything else ‘other.’ As a lifelong photographer I believe that I have a unique power as an image creator to help redefine what’s considered normal by creating and representing people from all cultures and backgrounds in my work. Media does not accurately reflect the diverse people in our world and I hope to have the opportunity to change that narrative and ensure that everyone has representation and a voice through their experiences with me whether that be through photography, beekeeping, or the autism and ADHD communities.  

1. Representation & Voice

I believe human beings have personal autonomy over their own bodies and therefore seek to celebrate all the unique ways people love and live in their own bodies. My commitment to bodily integrity extends into the way I process photographs, or interact with you upon meeting or in-person. 

As a photographer I believe extensive retouching is unethical and that creating unrealistic physical changes to someone’s body is a projection of biases of how we think someone should look. 

As a neurodiverse person I am also sensitive to the social anxieties and sensory processing struggles that physical touch can cause so I will always ask for permission before shaking a hand, hugging, or giving a high five - and I won’t take it personally if you decline. 

Finally, I understand some populations may continue to be more vulnerable and susceptible to COVID-19 despite vaccinations. To ensure the comfort and safety of others in-person I am vaccinated and committed to continued vaccination and will wear a mask at your request.

2. Bodily Integrity 

Cultural appropriation is best defined as a problematic power dynamic where members of a dominant group or culture (who have privilege) take or use elements from a culture of people who are marginalized or oppressed by the dominant culture. Often times these the dominant culture benefits from the use of these elements with a gain in power, influence, notoriety, or income. Cultural appropriation is widespread in photography, social media, and beyond. It does damage by letting us show love for a culture, but remaining prejudiced against its people. When members of a dominant culture utilize traditions, tools, and rituals from an oppressed culture at weddings, family events, conferences or anywhere else it furthers the problems of falsehoods, stereotyping, and systemic racism - especially when published online, where stories are often misunderstood. As such, I do not partake or photograph in events with teepees, dream catchers, jumping the broom, henna, or other cultural traditions unless the event is led by people from those cultures.By doing this, when a photograph, narrative, or event is published online - the true owner of a cultural tradition or ritual is the one whose voice is being heard and I’m prioritizing a commitment to justice for oppressed groups over my own dominant culture’s privilege. 

3. Cultural Appropriation 

Social media, blogging, and photography are about storytelling and one of my core values is to not manufacture narratives or photo opportunities for the sake of the opportunity. I want to tell stories about beekeeping, photography, or neurodiversity as if its unfolding in a documentary way. By doing this I focus on content that’s created with purpose instead of simply for the sake of creation.

4. Creating Content with Meaning 

Autonomy is defined as being free from external control. Many events push narratives that make attendees feel as though they are doing something wrong. Whether I’m at a wedding, fundraiser, conference, or other event one of my core values is to support the autonomy of the event leadership to run an event that is inclusive, provides accessibility and equity, but also in a way that supports their narrative most. I’m happy to be an advocate at many events for many different populations and learn best when I listen rather than dictate how events go. 

5. Event Autonomy 

1. When will you restock honey or soap?

Beekeeping is seasonal work in Colorado and honey availability depends on many factors outside of a Certified Master Beekeeper to be successful. Honey harvest times can be difficult to predict, but honey is restocked as soon as it is available. 

Cold process soap is restocked on a monthly or quarterly basis depending on needs.

2. What happens if my honey crystalizes?

The nature of raw honey means it can crystalize. Crystallization is completely normal. Some honey crystallizes faster than others, but eventually, all honey will crystalize. That does not mean it should be thrown out (honey never gets old). Crystallization is a combination of the types of sugars in the nectars collected at that particular time. Crystallization is also affected by the raw nature of honey. If it has more pollen, wax, and propolis in it, those will form crystals quicker.

If your honey crystallizes this is an indication that it is truly raw and has all the benefits of raw honey. Second Breakfast Honey harvested in fall typically crystallizes much quicker than spring honey based on what the bees forage at the time. 

When your honey does crystalize just put the bottle in a hot water bath (not boiling) and let it sit for 30 minutes. It will liquefy and be squeezable again. Some people love crystalized honey as is and spread it on toast.

3. What kind of honey do you sell?

Raw honey from either spring or fall harvests which has different flavors based on the flowers in bloom while bees are foraging. I do not sell comb honey because I prefer my bees to reuse their comb as much as possible to ensure higher honey production.

4. What are your shipping rates and policies?

USPS shipping is available for domestic purchases only and varies based on weight and distance. Read the shipping policy for more details.

5. What are your return policies?

Second Breakfast Honey & Soap guarantees the quality of its product. Second Breakfast Honey & Soap is happy to replace any item(s) in the unlikely event that they might be damaged during transit. Items that have been opened or used are not returnable  and as such all sales are considered final.  Read the returns policy for more details.

6. Are you comfortable shooting in dark areas or with flash?

Absolutely! Using flash is one of my favorite things. I have an arsenal of flashes and accessories to make some kickass images during your wedding reception. If you're up for it I always love setting up an epic night shot toward the end of the evening with just my clients. If you give me an extra 15 minutes we can make some magic happen!

7. Where are you located? Do you have local pickup?

I live in the remote mountains of Colorado. My apiaries are close to Rangely, CO and honey is available for local pickup there.

8. How did you become a Certified Master Beekeeper?

A Certified Master Beekeeper is one who has completed a master beekeeper program with a deep understanding of bee anatomy, biology, beekeeping practices, beekeeping as a business, and how to conduct scientific research and experiments. I became a Certified Master Beekeeper through the University of Montana's program, which I recommend as a worthwhile investment for anyone serious about beekeeping.

9. Do you treat your bees?

I initially started my beekeeping career with a treatment-free approach. As I gained knowledge and began experimenting more, I saw, first-hand, the difference monitoring and treating for mites, nosema, and other pests or diseases can make. Through my Master Beekeeping program I was able to fully look at the scientific research and  justification for treatments, which changed my mind and approach. Now, my bees and I are more successful than ever.

10. Do you have bees or colonies dying?

Becoming a Master Beekeeper has helped me mitigate colony losses with deep  knowledge of anatomy, biology, beekeeping, and science. I still have winter losses, like many beekeepers, but these have gone drastically down as my knowledge has increased.

11. Do you offer online beekeeping classes?

I hope to offer these in 2022.

12. What do I do if I have live honey bees on my property?

I offer live bee removal local to Rangely and northwest Colorado. However,  if you have live bees on your property (a swarm or an established hive), call your local beekeepers association. They will be able to direct you to someone who can help with a humane and safe live bee removal.

13. Do you follow food safety precautions with your honey?

Yes. The honey is raw, which means it is not pasteurized. However, all food safety precautions are taken when harvesting, filtering, and bottling honey. Colorado's  Cottage Foods Act requires all of Colorado's honey producers to take a Food Safety Training course to receive a 3-year certification. I am happy to provide my current certificate upon request.

14. Are you part of any beekeeping associations?

Yes, I am a member of the Western Colorado Beekeepers Association, American Honey Producers Association, Colorado Beekeeping Association, American Beekeeping Federation, and the Western Apiculture Society.

15. What services do you offer?

I offer services for beekeepers, photographers, and advocate for neurodiversity. 
- Beekeeping: public speaking, online mentoring, and live bee removal
- Neurodiversity, Autism, & ADHD: public speaking,  non-profit board membership
- Photography: Limited wedding and portrait photography

16. Why bees?

Did you know that many autistic people have special interests? Bees are mine. I love the sensory aspect of hearing them and the smell of the hives. What I love even more is the feminist-led society. I originally got into bees thinking it would help support my other big hobby of gardening, but came to love bees just as much! 

17. How are you neurodiverse?

While I don't feel I owe it to anyone to disclose my personal disabilities, I share here to advocate for people like me and the disabled community as a whole.  I have  both autism and ADHD. I received both diagnoses as an adult. My son is also diagnosed.

18. Do you still do photography?

With a background in both photography (entrepreneurship), and teaching I am able to combine my passion as an educator with marketing in my dream day job. I work full time in edtech as a product marketing manager and love it. I am currently transitioning out of photography and am taking on limited clients only through 2022. Read about photography services for more details.

19. Do you practice COVID-19 precautions?

I understand some populations may continue to be more vulnerable and susceptible to  COVID-19 despite vaccinations. To ensure the comfort and safety of others in-person I am fully vaccinated and committed to continued vaccination. I will also wear a mask indoors, at locations with low vaccination rates, while traveling, with people I don't know are vaccinated, or for any other reason. I will also wear a mask happily at your request in any situation to guarantee others have safe and equitable access.

Also, as an autistic person who frequently encounters anti-vaccination discourse with autism, I am a big fan of vaccines. I love who I am and what my brain is capable of. I believe there's a lot of ableism in the idea that the risk of death from a preventable illness is a risk someone would rather take than end up like me or other neurodiverse folks. 

20. Do you travel for public speaking?

Yes. In-person public speaking rates include the cost of domestic travel.

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