The idea of starting a publishing company had been percolating in my mind for years, and when I finally decided to take the leap into starting the business, I realized that there was a lot to figure out. Not just how it would all work, but also what sort of "brand" I wanted to create, and of course, what the name of the company would be.
Just like many people are advised to do what they love, I knew that I should create a business that would be special to me and not tailor it to what others think it should be. If I was going to be successful, I had to love what I was doing.
I asked myself to think carefully about what I cared about in the world and how that might pertain to my business. I thought about what kind of company I wanted to create, and I realized that what I truly cared for (in addition to books) was nature and the environment. I wanted my company to be environmentally-friendly in as many ways as possible. So, it made sense to try to come up with a name to reflect that.
Trees are magnificent organisms and an obvious image to turn to as a symbol of nature and a publishing company. I tried to choose a tree that would represent my business, but it seemed that all the best tree names had been taken, if not by another small press, by some other business. I tried combinations of earthy words like mountain, rock, wood, and different colors. Black Mountain Press. Rockwood Press. Red Rock. Greenwood. Nothing sounded right. And nothing felt authentic. Then, I considered the wolf, my favorite animal, but there already was a Greywolf Press. I contemplated trying to use its scientific name, Canis lupis, but if I used the genus, people might think the name had to do with cannabis. And if I used the species that it had to do with a disease. Neither would work.
I tried to think more creatively about what else could be used to help capture the spirit of being environmentally-friendly and offer something that could be turned into a name and logo. And then it came to me: the honeybee. An insect that has captured my interest and love and one that means so much to the world.
Apis mellifera is the scientific name of the European honeybee, and still thinking about using a scientific name, I borrowed the genus, Apis, to create the title of my company.
The honeybee is crucial to human survival. Some researchers estimate that one in every three bites of food we eat is because of the work of honeybees. They pollinate the food we eat and the food our food eats.
Egyptians revered honeybees and were some of the earliest beekeepers. According to an article from HistoryToday.com about Gene Kritsky's book The Tears of Re: Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt, "Beekeeping and the products of the hive were deeply embedded in Egyptian culture. The culinary and magical properties of honey were recognised, as they are today; honey was the only source of sweetness in ancient times."
More recently, a study at the University of California - San Diego reported that honeybees "are the world's most important single species of pollinator in natural ecosystems and a key contributor to natural ecosystem functions." They found that "one out of eight interactions between a non-agricultural plant and a pollinator is carried out by the honey bee," and that's a lot considering the thousands of other pollinators in the world.
The honeybee has become part of our global ecosystem and is crucial to the survival of many plants throughout the world. It is only fitting for Apis Books, a business that cares deeply for the health of the planet, to use the image of a creature that helps secure its future.
Apis \ ˈā-pəs \ noun
1. A bee.