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.
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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.
Bobby is relatively new to beekeeping but is one of the most dedicated new 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 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.
Dr. Charlie Headington
Charlie keeps a hive of bees in his yard 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.
Eliza is an instructor in the garden program at the Montessori School. She manages the bee hives at the school and is teaching a group of 5th graders about beekeeping.
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.
Kelly is was a new beekeeper that I mentored through the FCBA and also an elementary school teacher. She brought her daughter to the bee yard and in trying to point out the queen on a frame of bees used the expression, "She moves like she owns the place," which explains perfectly how the queen moves. Because of that insight, Kelly will always be one of my bee buddies.
Paul L. Madren, Jr.
Paul is one of under 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.
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.
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.
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.