It was some time in the early 1980’s. I was maybe a freshman or sophomore at Frenchtown High schoolin Frenchtown Montana when a cheerleader-of-a-science-teacher, Miss Betty Gould, invited our smallscience class to pick a topic of interest to research and report on. To this day, I am not entirely sure whyI picked honeybees as my topic of interest, but I did.
A delightfully kind classmate of mine, Katy Hoffman had a father who was a beekeeper…ah maybe Katywas the reason for my bee interest? Anyway, at his daughter’s request, Katy’s father kindly gave me atour of his hobby bee keeping operation. After the tour and brief interview with Mr. Hoffman, I didminimal research, on bees anyway, wrote my paper and that was it.
Fast forward about 40 years to 2020 and into the Covid tunnel we went. I was working as a full timetherapist at Sea Mar Community Health Center when Coved mandates changed in-person therapysessions at my Sea Mar office to Zoom therapy sessions conducted in my home. Now you would haveto experience where I live to truly appreciate how grateful I am for where I got to “hole up” for theduration of Coved lock downs.
I live on an old retired dairy farm just south of Lynden WA. Our home sits on over 100 acres of richfertile farmland with Nooksack River access at the North edge of the property, stunning open views ofMt Baker and Twin Sisters to our East, and the jagged snowcapped Canadian Cascade mountains to ourNorth. It was on this farm at this time that I made the decision to purchase my first two Nucs of beesfrom Tim at Stanwood Bee Company, and my new hobby business, A Bee Connection took flight. TodayI have about 30 hives at three locations and am wondering how far this new passion will fly.
I think one thing that draws me to bees is they are a cooperative super organism with literally a healthysweet outcome. A built in “intelligence” at work in a colony of bees. There are diverse bees each with avital role to play; The queen bee, absolutely vital to the survival of the hive; the drone bee, equally vitalto the bee colonies survival; field forager bees, ditto; nurse bees; guard bees; winter bees (diutinusbees) ditto, ditto, ditto.
At a time in history like no other, where we humans are deeply struggling with political, racial, gender,and environmental traumas of many forms, bees help me to hope that there is the possibility of both arenewal of nature but also a renewal of human hearts, wouldn’t that be sweet!