Meet The Beekeeper Behind Bee Rescue: Dan Luong!
In celebration of World Bee Day and our planet’s precious pollinators, Comvita is rescuing 5 Million bees by working with independent beekeepers across the US to safely relocate hives that have found their way into unwelcome areas. This interview is part of a series of introductions to get to know the lives and work of real, professional beekeepers. See what inspires them about their work, learn fascinating facts about bees, and life lessons the beehive can teach us.
Meet beekeeper Dan Luong (also known as @bee_man_dan ), from Mira Mesa, California.
How long have you been beekeeping?
How did you get involved in beekeeping?
Bees moved under my shed and a friend helped get them safely removed. I was so fascinated by the process that started beekeeping more regularly and eventually transitioned into removals.
What do you love about beekeeping?
For starters, I get to work outdoors, climb stuff and play with bugs. It’s every man-child’s dream job! Our work lets me experience bees in a raw, unadulterated state. I appreciate being able to witness this first hand.
What are your favorite facts about bees?
Having rescued over 4,000 wild hives personally, I’ve been able to observe them from a different perspective not commonly witnessed. Counter to popular belief, the bees don’t follow the queen as we think they would. Not saying she’s not important, but she’s not necessarily the one sitting and barking out orders for her workers to follow. The bees work as a collective, the whole hive should be treated as an organism in itself. This beehive decides what they need as a whole, when eggs need to be laid, when the hive needs to expand, where they need to move to, etc.
What lessons have you learned from bees that are helpful in other areas of your life?
Aside from my Kung Fu instructor, the bees have been the greatest teacher I could have ever asked for in my adult life. They’ve instilled in me a sense of patience, what I thought was for them, was in fact patience for myself and my own growth. They embody what community/family/camaraderie truly means and what the role the individual needs to take to serve the greater good.
What advice or tips do you have for people who want to help bees where they live?
Grow a vegetable garden. Play with the land. Get your hands dirty! Our society has created a space where we have an abundance of food, but has disconnected us from the source. Out of sight, out of mind. We turn a blind eye to the trespasses against nature that don’t directly affect us, but when we look at the aphids on our kale that we know we will be eating, we realize we don’t want to go thermonuclear on them because that’s going to end up in our belly. Circling back to the bees, we then realize we need pollinators to spark life into our zucchinis, lemons, or watermelons and the understanding of their importance is realized.
Do you have any other thoughts about working together with Comvita to rescue bees?
We function as the ambassadors between bees and the humans who decide their fate whether that’s to be exterminated or relocated. Like Comvita, whose purpose is to connect with the goodness of nature, our work starts with education to create this personal connection with the bees with our clientele so they can make the best educated decision on their bee problem, which typically leads to a live removal.