My passion for bees was ignited in the Winter of 2013, helping to build six wooden Langstroth Hives in preparation for a set of six packages that were to come in the Spring.
At that point in time, even the detail on every piece of those hives we were building was mesmerizing to me; the bottom board, screened bottom board, entrance reducer, inner cover, queen excluder… “bees need all of this…?” kept running through my mind.
Like many parents, building a crib for their first child, we went overboard – spent way too much time and money building lavish bee homes – a Martha’s Vineyard of Apiaries.
Oh the things I would learn…
My first year of beekeeping was a total loss – all six hives eventually died out. Some hives were lost to beginner mistakes and some to “natural” issues. Either way the feeling was devastating – a year’s worth of hard work and money spent with nothing to show.
To say the whole project was a total loss though, is a bit discrediting I suppose… many things were learned, and throughout the year of sharing what we were doing with our local communities we got TONS of positive feedback. Many friends and family members wanted hives of their own and to become beekeepers as well!
So instead of quitting after that first year, we upped the ante and ordered 10 packages of bees for the next Spring. We already had a lot of the equipment built from the last season, so instead of focusing on building the best hives we could, we turned our attention to better locations where we could keep our bees.
As momentum built toward our second year, three people had enough interest in bees to purchase hives from us. That Spring a bee business was born, and in the process of teaching people (what little I knew) about beekeeping my passion for bees intensified.
Watching someone go from being skittish and largely hands off with their new backyard hive, to cracking the hive open and diving in without a bee suit by the end of the Summer is a feeling like no other. I had created a tangible bond between a human and an insect that would last a lifetime. Even more than gaining a level of comfortability with the bees, I got to see my friends develop a sense of intuition and true understanding with them.
For me, this was it. After 28 years of searching, I finally knew what I was put here to do.
Things have been looking up since those first two summers; I’ve learned a lot and changed my perspective a bit.
Instead of trying to sell hives, bees, and education as a business, I decided to create a non profit that could facilitate the free dissemination of bees and education for everyone who desires to take on this craft, and ensure there will be bees in our world.
Welcome to Bee Mindful, and thank you for visiting!
We have some really exciting things in store for this coming Spring and Summer.
Buckle up and hold on tight, it’s going to be a fun ride!