Meet The Beekeeper Behind Bee Rescue: Hannah Mather
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 Hannah Mather (also known as @hannahshoneycomb ), from central Florida.
How long have you been beekeeping?
How did you get involved in beekeeping?
I’ve always been a lover of animals of all shapes and sizes. I used to love looking in the observation hive at Cape Cod Museum of Natural History as a child, and trying to spot the queen. That young love of the natural world grew throughout my life, I went to university for biology, where I focused on insect borne diseases. Life in a lab didn’t end up being for me though, I craved becoming more hands on with the creatures I loved. When the opportunity to take classes and keep bees of my own presented itself, I jumped in with both feet and have been hooked ever since!
What do you love about beekeeping?
I love that there are always new things to learn about bees, and no two days in the apiary are ever the same. Working with bees forces you to slow down and be in the moment, there’s no room for the distractions of the day when you’re in a hive. I also love that it’s a way to combine my passions and talents. I get to use my knowledge of biology and creativity with a camera, to spread my passion for the environment to others.
What are your favorite facts about bees?
One of my favorite facts to talk about is how queen bees come from the same eggs as worker bees, the only difference is the diet they are fed as larva and how that triggers developmental differences!
What lessons have you learned from bees that are helpful in other areas of your life?
The bees are wonderful examples of the complex interconnections between plants, animals, and humans, and serve as daily reminders that every choice we make, in all facets of life, has an impact.
What advice or tips do you have for people who want to help bees where they live?
To mow less, plant more native flowers, and to reconsider what we consider “weeds”. Weeds are often native plants that local pollinators heavily rely on. A manicured lawn does not benefit the ecosystem.
What do you wish people knew about how bees impact the world around us?
With how important honeybees are for pollination in agriculture, I wish that more people realized that our need for bees goes beyond that, and does not stop at only the things that monetarily benefit us. Bees and other pollinating species play an irreplaceable role in the ecosystem for preserving biodiversity of plants and animals all the way up the food chain. Bees serve as a humbling reminder that insects of all kinds deserve respect and must be included in conversations about sustainability.
Do you have any other thoughts about working together with Comvita to rescue bees?
With the spread of counterfeit honey lowering the perceived value, I think the Comvita Apiary Management System to track honey from hive to to shelf is a great step forward in transparency. It’s important to me to know where my food comes from, and that’s not always possible to trace.