I have served as the president of the Central Colorado Beekeepers Association, am involved in multiple Sustainable Honey Bee projects around the country, am a contributor to the Natural Bee Husbandry magazine, and I am the creator of Bee Tree Hives (www.BeeTreeHives.com) which are selling around the country. In addition, I contribute to various projects to improve pollinator habitat in my region, and am a speaker, presenter, and educator.
I am a bee-centered beekeeper. That means that my goal is to return honey bees to the vibrancy that they deserve and that the earth needs. I am seeking to propagate hardy, treatment-free, regionally adapted honey bees that can successfully over-winter in our region. And, in so doing, make our valley more flowering and fruitful.
I support the bees’ efforts to create the healthiest possible environment inside their hive as they seek to live in symbiotic relationship with the 8,000+ other organisms that coexist with them in their hive. Therefore, I do not use insecticides to control pests in the hives. Honey bees are also insects. By using insecticides in honey bee hives we are slowly creating weaker bees and more resistant pests. We also upset the balance of the micro-ecology within the hive in ways that we don’t even begin to understand yet. On top of that, we contaminate the beeswax and possibly even the honey.
I am constantly seeking a source of bees that are being bred from hardy survivor stock in regions as similar to our valley as possible. Therefore, I do not purchase bees from other parts of the country where I know their genetics are not suitable to this region. I am also working on developing my own regionally adapted honey bee colonies. The ultimate goal is a line of regionally adapted, treatment-free honey bees that will survive and thrive in our region – both in managed hives and in the wild.
My goal is that every colony I manage remains as vigorous and strong as possible. Therefore, I do not take the bees’ honey from them and then feed them sugar water to keep them from starving. This, of course, also causes weak bees and is not sustainable, especially in a climate like we have in our valley. A healthy colony of honey bees may need to store as much as 80 pounds of honey to survive our winters here. I am working with multiple community groups to improve the pollinator habitat in our valley with the aim of making it possible for each honey bee colony to store enough honey each season to survive the winter.
You can learn much more about my relationship with honey bees by reading my blog posts at: http://www.beetreehives.com/blogs/news
See the Contact page for my contact information.