The Bee Shed, a locally owned honey producer and distributor of beekeeping supplies and equipment, is the first beekeeping operation in Minnesota to define their corporate structure as a Specific Benefit Corporation (SBC). This structure, made possible via new legislation in 2015, enables a business to legally and publicly declare that their business decisions will contemplate public good as well as profit, making a commitment to deliberately and transparently advance a specific public good.
Prior to this change, The Bee Shed was incorporated as an LLC.
The Bee Shed has committed to the following specific benefits:
- The promotion and development of pollinator habitat for sustainable food production;
- The education of the public at large about the importance of bees and pollinator habitat; and
- The mentorship of new or novice beekeepers, including youth and underserved populations.
“From a practical perspective, operating as an SBC serves notice to the public that we’re willing to put some of our time and our financial resources to something other than the bottom line,” said Chris Schad, Founder and Co-owner of The Bee Shed.
Co-owner John Shonyo noted, “This really is just codifying what we have done in our business operations from the very beginning. We have been teaching classes and giving presentations about bees and pollinator habitat throughout the region, and every year we are mentoring new beekeepers.”
The Bee Shed honey products are available in more than twenty retail stores in the Rochester area and online through their website. They also provide equipment, supplies and bees to beekeepers throughout Southeast Minnesota.