I fell in love with honeybee and beekeeping at 14 (in 1972) while boarding at a funky, tiny alternative school (it WAS the 70s . . .) down in Gold Hill (Southern Oregon). Quaker based school on 300 acres of grass for some cows and forest.
One of the school owners’ sons, Tom and I started talking about our interest in bees. Within weeks we’d pulled out the table saw and sawed / nailed together our first hive boxes.
We got our bees from the legendary cool grandfather beekeeper in those parts Delmar Smith. He was short, round, had a high voice and moved his arms like bee wings. Honest – a human bee. Wish I had a photo of him to share. A very generous and knowledgeable beekeeper in the area.
Through the years I’ve tried chemicals, but have for the past 10 years gone chemical free – and focusing only on the queen strength – as the way back to strong bees.
As I thought about HOW to get kids excited and not fearful about bees, new program ideas would come to mind.
First the PowerPoint show – for practical reasons – it’s too hard and many think too risky to bring bees into schools, of course.
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.
Host a Hive has been
well received too, connecting those who WANT to keep bees with a nearby neighbor who HAS a nice place for them but wants s
Our programs continue to grow, with making bee homes, pouring candles, and apitherapy sessions.ome bee help.
None of this would be possible without the energy of my students and a few volunteers who have staffed outreach tables, poured candles and honey with me, and more.
What Live HoneyBees has accomplished since our founding in 2011:
- Host a Hive Program – delivering and supporting 43 hives from Clatskanie to Gresham / Ridgefield to Salem
- Reached 750 children and adults through free library and other in-community outreach programs
- Designed arguably the easiest, least costly method of sustainable urban-responsible beekeeping
- Built and installed rare public observation hive in the Alberta Arts district
- Captured 121 swarms and out of wall hives
- Designed in-school bee club programs for High School honeybee leaning projects