Why You Should Mentor The Next Generation Of Beekeepers

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Why You Should Mentor The Next Generation Of Beekeepers


Why you should mentor the next generation of beekeepers

Inspiration! Where does it strike? How and why? Do you ever wonder? I’ll never know what made my husband suddenly decided after 20 years of blissful marriage that he wanted to be a beekeeper but for those that are married to and or with a beekeeper know that there is no such thing as one person in the family being a beekeeper as it is an all-consuming pursuit. It was definitely not a passion that was sparked in me but I am most certainly the type of person that ideas need to be mulled about quite a bit in my head kind of like a good fall spiced apple cider. Read here my article about “10 Rules For The Reluctant Beekeeper” and you are reading my story.

Recently in the midst of a chat with a colleague where I work it came up that the Viking in my life and I were beekeepers and she immediately exclaimed to me that her son had taken an interest of recent in beekeeping. I said without hesitation, “Well he needs to come out and work with my husband….he would love it!” I realized after I didn’t ask her son’s age or for much more information but shortly after we set up a date for everyone to meet.

It turns out her son Tyler was 12 years old, an intelligent old soul, and boy was he all in! We were thrilled and so the first meeting began. My husband had been saving hive bodies for Tyler to look through and we had several other items out for him to check out. Bees wax, propolis, frames, honey, and all the fun byproducts of beekeeping. Oh also we had the honey extractor we borrowed from the New Hanover County Beekeeping Association which is a great place to get started if you are interested in keeping bees. Shortly after much question and answer the two went out to do a hive inspection together.

Tyler and The Viking in my life on a hive inspection.

I turned to Tyler and I shared with him my secret to beekeeping. I told him that I believe the bees pick up on our energy so that staying calm, and no loud words, and fast movements and I felt he would be fine. Yes this reluctant beekeeper or as my husband calls me “Careful Karen Lynn” had to impart her words of wisdom. His Mom Molly shared with me that both her and her son were risk takers to which I said…”Oh well then you’ll fit right in!” LOL…….

It was a great afternoon and we sent home with Tyler several beekeeping books to borrow for a while so he could really dive into this new interest of beekeeping and his Mom Molly even sent me a photo of his “Beekeeping information station”…I loved it.

I loved that we were able to align my husband and her son with a shared passion and have that we could share with him/them  our love of the bees and my husband loves mentoring new beekeepers; the only thing he asks is that they promise to pass on the knowledge to others. Simple enough right? In my husband’s perfect world everyone would keep bees and I have to say the world would certainly be better for it.

Working on the hive.

So I asked Tyler and his Mom if not only I could interview him but if I could share photos as well and they both were amenable and I think you will see why passing on important life skills is so important to the next generation and I hope you are inspired to do so as well. If you are not a beekeeper maybe you crochet? or make soap? Make sure even if your own kids or grandchildren aren’t interested in what you know that you find an interested soul because I can promise you are out there. My husband taught our son to fish and hunt and our daughter to sew (Yes the Viking did this) and I taught our children to cook, homemaking skills, how to be resourceful with what they had and do and both my children love to write. Sometimes we pass skills on passively and don’t even know it.

Tyler with his Mom and the Viking in my life!
Leave it to my hunny to be sporting a shirt of one of his favorite local bands.

Interview with Tyler – A Future Beekeeper

Before we get into the detailed questions tell everyone about yourself…I mean they all know your name is Tyler but tell them how old you are? What your hobbies are and what you do for fun or are they all one and the same?

Hi! My name is Tyler. I am 11 years old. I enjoy cooking, birding, shelling, soccer, and have a black belt in taekwondo. I love anything animals and plan to go to UNCW for Marine Biology.

1. Tyler what inspired you to start learning about beekeeping? Have you always been interested in bees, pollinators?
I got interested in learning about beekeeping a year ago when I saw a video on Youtube on how bees are beneficial to the environment. I felt eager to learn and research how to keep bees on my own.

2. As a reluctant and somewhat fearful beekeeper at first myself how did you feel about your first experience with the bees? Were you nervous? And if you don’t mind me asking what were you thinking? I think this could be very beneficial to others that are beginning their beekeeping journey.
My first experience with the bees was that I wanted to remain as still as possible. I never saw that many bees in one place in my life. I was thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of bees!” Maybe you will see a bee or two on a flower, but never as many as I did at one time. While I wasn’t scared, I was more in shock of what I was seeing. Mr. Eric helped me to understand how the process worked and it was fascinating.

3. Do you plan to keep bees in the near future?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! I have a persimmon tree and beginning to grow a wildflower patch that will help. Now I just need my parents to say “yes, yes, yes, yes” too!
4. Why do you think it’s beneficial to keep bees?
I think it is beneficial because it helps your garden and all the other flowers in the area. Honey bees are on the threatened species list and if we do not save them, that is 80% of all crops will be going down the drain. Price of food will go up and our hunger problem will continue to escalate. Food helps the brain to develop and we will see it affecting kids.

5. What was one or two things you learned about keeping bees that you did not know before?
There is a giant machine that extracts the honey by just turning the wheel. If you are a member of the beekeeping club, you can rent it instead of buying the equipment. It also takes a lot of time, patience and knowledge. I’m really glad I got to meet Mr. Eric and Miss Karen so I can learn from the experts and teach me first hand so I don’t make costly mistakes. Bees are people too!

Thank you so much Tyler!  We hope you come out again and help us work with the bees again soon!

The Mentor and the Mentee Bekeeping.
This smile is enough for us! Encouraging others and helping ignite their passions is such a gift that we can pass on!

Isn’t that so cool that Tyler not only wants to learn about bees he actually wants to keep bees in the not so distant future! I love it!

I wish you all a beautiful week until next time!




I Love Hearing From All Of You! Thanks for sharing!

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