- Simplified, cost-effective educational programs and products.
- Coach individuals and groups in nurturing pollinators.
- Rescue wild hives from buildings and trees.
While pollinators likely will not "make news" until then next not-wished for die off, stresses pollinators currently are burdened with can be reversed: hive by hive, school by school, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Brian's bee-grade origin story ...
Got 'good n bit' by the bee bug at 14 (1972) while going to a tiny alternative school in Gold Hill - Southern Oregon. 300 acres of grass fields, pine and madrone trees. With Tom, one of the school owners’ sons, we soon pulled out the table saw and built a few hive boxes WITH frames. Teenagers.
We got our bees with help from Delmar Smith: a kind, short, round, bald, energetic guy with a high-register voice and arms that flapped around, yes, like a bee. Delmar was Rogue Valley’s bee guru then. He got us in touch with someone who had a swarm on a low branch. An easy start. Our pains paid back in lots of honey next year – those being the days before mites and general bee decline.
Since then I’ve kept between 3 to 10 hives. When the mites arrived in the early 2000s I used to use chemicals, but soon dropped that after realizing I was making super mites.
In 2010 I became more interested in catching wild swarms, because they are most likely to be genetically stronger to naturally resist mites. In 2011 I made a big string purse (video clip of the purse in use) and upgraded a bee vacuum design I found online to be more effective at saving as many swarms as possible from occupying the walls of houses.
Since starting Live Honeybees our programs continue to grow, PowerPoints, shows with live bees, making bee homes, pouring candles, apitherapy sessions - the list will keep growing.
A few key milestones:
- Installed and support observation hives at Portland Waldorf, Gardner Arts and Sciences and St Johns Fischer Schools.
- Relocated 25 beetrees.
- Engaged children and adults through school, library, farmer's market, outreach programs.
- Captured 253 swarms and 87 structural rescue hives.
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, and more.