Gifts of the hive
I was pleased by coverage in the Aug. 19 edition of the move to allow urban beehives in Traverse City. I was disappointed that you did not say more about how important good teachers are, or mention where the hives Ms. Kramer had to leave in Benzie County are now. They are in the yard of Sharon Jones, who, with her husband Kirk, has 35 years of experience keeping bees. You interviewed Kirk, who handles the commercial bee yards and generously helps train others. Sharon has been teaching women to be responsible backyard beekeepers for a number of years. Her apprenticeship lasts a full year and encompasses all aspects of natural beekeeping. She generously mentors new beekeepers after initial training.
There is so much more to it than people imagine. With the deep training Sharon provides, we not only raise friendly, healthy, productive bees, we bring forth the endless gifts of the hive to a society much in need of them and deeply threatened by colony collapse.
I hope you will interview Sharon at Bee Dazzled in Benzonia for the next article on backyard beekeeping. As beekeeper Millie Hathaway said, success requires attentive, trained beekeepers who act as good stewards.