Honey bees are social insects and one of the best lessons from the hive is how a community can work together for the good of the community. I think humans could learn a lot from honey bees. So in the spirit of the bees, this page is dedicated to some of the many bee buddies I’ve had over the years who have influenced and supported my beekeeping efforts. I try to give them credit in my posts as well.
Note: I’m adding folks as I get their pictures, so check back to see more of the amazing, giving people in my life.
Click picture to see full size
Janice is probably the person who has been most influential in my success in beekeeping. She and Larry let me tag along with them as they worked their bees, grafted queens, and provided so much advice as I was starting out with bees in NC. She continues to support me and other beekeepers with advice during the bee classes. She's the queen bee as far as I'm concerned!
Becca Crutchfield & Morgan Duhan
Becca and Morgan both attended the beginning beekeeping class in the spring of 2021 and are keeping bees together. Becca built the long hive they are using and together they are growing healthy bees at an amazing rate!
Claude attended our beginning bee class in the spring of 2021. He lives in Reidsville, is retired from the construction business, and is a skilled carpenter.
Kathi-Luise attended the beginning bee class in the spring of 2021. She's a fearless advocate for the bees, even after multiple stings that sent her to urgent care!
Bobby started beekeeping a few years ago and continues to be one of the most dedicated beekeepers I've met in a long time. He spent a year working with me in my bee yard before getting his own bees. He's become an active beekeeper with both langstroth and top bar hives and shares info he picks up from articles and conventions he attends.
Aubrey owns Gate City Harvest Farm where my hives live these days. He stays actively involved with making sure the bees have good forage and are safe and healthy. He shows up in many of my videos.
In addition to being an architect and a permaculture designer, River is also learning about beekeeping. River took the Guilford County Beekeepers bee school a few years ago, helped with the permaculture class, and comes out to the bee yard with me when she can.
Jenny has spent the last 10+ years teaching kids about plants and nature at the Greensboro Montessori School. She's also currently teaching the permaculture design class through Guilford Community College. Jenny keeps bees in a top bar hive.
Alyssa has a permaculture design certificate and has taught a design course locally with Jenny. She's currently teaching at NC A&T.
David is another of the permaculture designers who is learning about beekeeping and has had a hive of bees on his property for the last couple of years. Dave refers to me as The Crazy Bee Lady (he's probably correct!).
Dr. Charlie Headington
Charlie kept a hive of bees in his yard for many years and often includes beekeeping in his permaculture discussions. I owe much to Charlie for his knowledge of permaculture and especially his tip about using nematodes to control hive beetles. These days Charlie is helping to add bee friendly plants to the Public Orchard for the bees that live there now.
TJ Mayer Jr.
TJ is the lead beekeeper for the Downtown Bees at the Public Orchard. I'm enjoying working with him as we get the bees established. He's very easy to be around and I suspect the fact that the bees are always so calm when we're in them has something to do with the energy he brings.
Paul L. Madren, Jr.
Paul is one of about 12 Master Craftsman Beekeepers in NC. He's always available to answer my questions and we've had many a spirited conversation over the years. Paul stays active in the Surry Beekeepers and can be found helping with Bee Class most years.
Kelly Eugene Brown, Jr.
Eugene was one of the NCSBA regional directors for the mountain region for 4 years, is the current president of the Surry County Beekeepers, and has been a good friend and bee buddy. He was also willing to let me turn him into a drone for a presentation we did for the girl scouts.
I met Neise when I was helping with the Surry Bee School and she was taking the course. She let me work bees with her and in the process, gave me some good ideas about things I should keep in my bag. She's creative and practical and just a whole lot of fun!
Joanna is one of the Surry County Extension agents and a huge advocate to beekeeping. Joanna started the bee buddy program at Surry County and then took it to the NCSBA conferences where there have been hundreds of kids going through the program. I got to help with the first full day program and had a great time and learned a lot of fun exercises to do with kids to teach them about bees.
Dr. Doug Vinson
Doug is a retired dentist living in Catawba County. He's served on the board of the Catawba Beekeepers, was a NCSBA Regional Director for the Mountain Region for 4 years, and is currently (2021) the President of the NCSBA after having served as 2nd VP and 1st VP. I got to know Doug when I was doing work with NCSBA and have kept in touch with him since then. He always has great new ideas to share and I've gotten some great tips from him. He's who introduced me to the idea of overwintering bees in nucs and also using the MDA Splitter technique for raising queens.
Julian is another past president of NCSBA, was the beekeeper responsible for caring for and training others for the movie, "The Secret Life of Bees," and has always been happy to talk bees with me.
In 100 years of operation, the NCSBA has had only 1 woman president. That was Jeanne. Jeanne was always my buddy at Conferences and bee meetings. We lost Jeanne in 2019 and bee conferences haven't been the same without her.