I got bit by beekeeping at 14 (circa 1972) while at a funky, tiny alternative school (it was the 70s . . .) in Gold Hill (Southern Oregon). Quaker based school on 300 acres of grass and forest.
Tom, one of the school owners’ sons and I discovered our mutual interest in bees and within weeks had table saw and wood out of the bard to make our first hive.
Bees were given by legendary beekeeper in those parts Delmar Smith. Short, round, high voiced and moved like bee, Delmar was a human bee and was very generous and knowledgeable.
Wanting to both excite kids and help them not fear bees, the program tried was a PowerPoint show lots fo bee imatges but no live bees.
Next were in-apiary classes, with a bee-proof pop up tent. This way, the students can be REALLY close, but have almost no risk of getting stung. Usually within 30 mins everyone is bare faced and next to hives with me. I LOVE that part!
My career has usually involved some kind of community building and sustainability. After decades in the bicycle repair / service world, in 1994 I founded/ran the The Community Cycling Center followed in 2000 by starting Growing Gardens. Throughout have kept bees at Jean’s Farm and UBAG’s Bee Garden.
- brings screened observation hives, so we can feel and smell the hives sweetness,
- has a play for youth to act out
- rescues beetrees and hives in structures
- co administers the Oregon Bee Coalition
- administers The Pollinator Collective
As of fall 2017 there are
- several CBP’s in Multnomah, Clackamas Washington and Clark Counties.
- observation hives at Portland Waldorf and Gardner School.
- 15 beetrees placed throughout the larger metro area
Am looking forward to more fun and meaningful bee-learning in the years to come.
Reach me here