The store’s name, “Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper”, is a multi-level play on words. The name is reminiscent of the James Bond movie, “Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” or even of just the British Empire. The Majesty in the name is a reference to the queen bee in the hive. And “secret” was used because in an urban setting, most beekeepers keep their beekeeping hobby secret from their neighbors, in an attempt to not worry or upset those that are scared of bees.
Cameo first got interested in bees in October of 2008 when she joined a local beekeeping club. She was frustrated that beekeeping season was over for the year when she got interested, and that there were no classes or any way she could get involved. After finding a local beekeeper willing to take her out to his hive, she was hooked. Everywhere she looked, she saw beekeepers. The Secret Life of Bees had just been released; In The Last Bow, Sherlock Holmes happily retires from crime-fighting to Beekeeping; New York City began fighting to legalize beekeeping within the city limits.
With encouragement from her friends, Cameo wrote a business plan and found that the numbers were more black than red, and decided to take the leap and open up an urban beekeeping store.
Cameo Wood has always been interested in natural science, the culinary arts, and design. In October 2008, she decided to open her own business focusing on the honeybee and the products of the hive, as well as her existing interests, and this is how Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper was born. The store sells beekeeping supplies, honey, and other products from the hive. Regular classes and seminars are held at the class, and Cameo has also been a featured speaker at community and national events.
Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper was started by Cameo Wood, a local San Francisco resident. She was laid off from her high-tech job in October of 2008 and while looking for a new job in technology, she took up a few unusual hobbies. “I got into falconry, but that proved to be difficult to do while living in the city. I then joined a mushroom hunting group, a model railroading group, and the local beekeeping club. I fell in love with beekeeping that autumn and after I realized that there was no place to learn about beekeeping and buy supplies in the San Francisco bay area, I decided that I would be the one to open an urban beekeeping supply and honey store.
Cameo Wood also co-founded a non-profit organization called “SF Bee-Cause”in 2010 which will offer transitional employment for young people in addition to selling local honey and hive products. SF Bee-Cause also plans to offer beehive shares, native bee education, and other bee-related public services.