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Now Is the Thyme

Local beekeeper sells honey from own hives



Long before urban farming took hold of the hearts of well-intentioned hipsters everywhere, Betty Wullstein was simply tending to her bees—not because it was the trendy thing to do, the latest fashionable cure for allergies or a fairly easy way to consider oneself an agriculturalist.

Professor Wullstein might be best known around the community for all the years she spent teaching would-be academics about the intricacies of plant genetics at Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah. But one winter 32 years ago, when her husband happened to give her a book on beekeeping, Betty’s curiosity got the best of her. The very next spring—when the blankets of snow gave way to buds eagerly seeking out the sun’s warm rays—Now Is the Thyme was born.

Wullstein’s small company bottles pure, locally produced, screen-filtered honey made from the myriad wild and cultivated flowers found along the Wasatch Front and harvested from her East Bench backyard hives. Some of that golden nectar gets infused with organic ginger and orange peel. But because many years ago she realized that “you get involved too much in people’s lives when you sell them honey,” she mostly peddles wholesale to gift shops and emporiums like Red Butte Gardens, or local brewers daringly trying their hand at crafting mead—a sweet alcoholic beverage made from the bees’ golden product.

The same childlike curiosity and enthusiasm that first had her probing the ins and outs of the apiary arts still fuels her efforts in faithfully tending her hives today. Long after all the urban hipsters’ chickens have flown the coop and fly-by-night backyard beekeepers have moved on to other activities, Now Is the Thyme will still be churning out locally sourced, pure, organic honey, because Betty “think[s] bees are just the most fascinating creatures.”


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