Each one Teach one...
Our journey in beekeeping has been guided and inspired by the kindness and generosity of other beekeepers, who have been quick to freely share their experience, teaching us what they know, and what they have learned along the way. To our surprise, even in a commercial context where business to business can be competitive, and protectionist, this kindness and generosity prevails within the culture of sharing beekeeping knowledge.
The craft of beekeeping can be complicated and complex requiring dedication and discipline to advance successfully, especially in a commercial context. Within the beekeeping community, it is discussed that if you can make it past your first 3-5 years, you stand a reasonable chance of being successful.
Admittedly in our first few years, we replaced more colonies each spring that did not make it through winter, than the ones that did. After a while, with some determination, things finally clicked for us. Much like a beehive's natural instinct to multiply, the same seemed true of the opportunities to advance commercially in beekeeping.
Teaching and coaching has always been core to our values, and a primary intention to share our lessons from the start of our beekeeping experience. As such, we have developed a philosophy of ‘Each one Teach one’, combining our passion for teaching and the industry's culture of freely sharing beekeeping knowledge.
Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to work with youth and adults sharing the joy of working with honey bees. We have helped many others get started in learning about beekeeping by; hosting new beekeepers at one of our educational bee yards, field days with youth groups, introductory workshops, multi-day beginner beekeeping courses, LFI Garden Guru workshops, and mentoring new beekeepers. These are all great opportunities to pay forward the kindness and generosity that we have received in learning about beekeeping over the years.
While Revelstoke does not currently have a formal beekeeping club as do other communities, the Revelstoke Local Food Initiative has a beekeeping committee that meets quarterly with local beekeepers, and our beekeeping community has a closed Revelstoke Beekeepers Facebook group for sharing and discussions between local/ Revelstoke Beekeepers. If you would like to join in our the LFI Beekeeping Committee Meetings, and/ or the Revelstoke Beekeeping Facebook group, please feel free to Contact Us for more details. You can also follow our BeeKind Honey Bees Facebook page for ongoing honey bee and beekeeping information.
So, how does a BeeKind Honey Bees Mentorship work?
Beekeeping, like many other disciplines, has layers of knowledge from foundational skills based around; tools and equipment, standard best practices, seasonal timing, to interpretive best practices that can be situational for a specific region or location, and a variety of management practices that go with each beekeeper's situation.
As you can see we are, closely connected to the beekeeping scene in our community, and are passionate about sharing our knowledge and experience with others. We teach courses based on common foundational skills, and share our knowledge from an experienced based approach, advising on what works for us, over directing with specific instruction.
We offer beekeeping mentorship to beekeepers interested in learning about our best practices as we apply them to our commercial operation, in the context of the amount of time that we have been beekeeping. We encourage our nuc customers, new and experienced to connect with us throughout the season, sharing photos and video of their new nuc colonies, asking questions about the timing of seasonal best practices, and share with them what observations they should be making and when. We also encourage anyone else interested in advancing their beekeeping knowledge to Contact Us. We will support and advise you in the best ways we know how. We are open to random check ups during the season at your bee yard to see how your bees are doing and work through any issues you may have (Queenless, laying worker, introducing a new queen, swarm management, etc.), or you're welcome to visit us at one of our yards to see how and when we do things, just to name a couple of options.
Through our own experience learning beekeeping from the ground up, we recognize the value of networking with educational resources. We have developed a short list of beekeeping resources that have influenced our learning over the years.
Beekeeping Publications & Podcasts
Social Media Beekeeping Resources
YouTube Beekeeping Channels
A Canadian Beekeepers Blog (Ian Steppler)
UofG Honey Bee Research Center (Paul Kelly)
Blue Ridge Honey Company (Bob Binnie)
Tennessee Bees (Kamon Reynolds)
That depends on the situation. Sometimes it is best to see what stage of development your bees are at, and work with what you have got.
Other times it is nice for you to see how we are doing things.
We are flexible with either option.
No. We volunteer our time to educate beekeepers interested in developing their experience. This is our way to pay forward the kindness and generosity that we experience from our mentors.
Yes, and no. We are limited somewhat by our available time, keeping our commercial operation running as our main priority. Otherwise, we have not worked with anyone yet that is asking for more mentorship than we are available to provide.
Sure. If we can make it work with our schedule and priorities, we certainly don't mind checking in on your local bees while you are away, and completing any time sensitive management.
Yes. We are a growing commercial operation, actively looking for additional help during our busy periods between Revelstoke and Armstrong, from April to September each year, and expect to train most people as they go. Some experience is an asset.
Depending on your availability, you can volunteer your time in exchange for the work experience (and probably some raw honey).
Or, you can apply to one of our paid part time positions for a more formal role on our Employment page