Meet The Beekeeper Behind Bee Rescue: Mandy Shaw!
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 Mandy Shaw (also known as @beeingmandy ), from Northwest Oregon.
How long have you been beekeeping?
How did you get involved in beekeeping?
In 2015 a swarm of bees landed in my yard and we called a beekeeper to come and rescue them. It was such an amazing experience and left me feeling curious about bees! I began reading, watching videos, and joined a local beekeeping association and attended their beekeeping school. In 2016 I got my first hives and caught more swarms in that same tree!
What do you love about beekeeping?
Beekeeping connects me to nature, but it also connects me to an amazing community of like minded bee loving individuals. It has been a gateway to outreach opportunities, adventure, and endless discovery. Bees never cease to amaze me!
What are your favorite facts about bees?
Drones (male bees) come from unfertilized eggs.
Bees aren’t born to do one specific job, they fulfill many tasks as they age.
Bees make bread. Bee bread, that is!
What lessons have you learned from bees that are helpful in other areas of your life?
Bees are so giving of themselves. Their work as individuals has a big impact on the success of their colony. This community mindset is one that I try to embody in my day to day life.
What advice or tips do you have for people who want to help bees where they live?
Learn about the native pollinators in your area and what their habitat needs are. Even if you have a small patio or balcony, you can provide forage for bees. If you have a larger space or a garden, consider turning your space into a pollinator habitat. The beauty and the variety of the visiting pollinators are very rewarding!
What do you wish people knew about how bees impact the world around us?
Bees are the messengers of our environment. The challenges that bees face are indicative of a greater ecological crisis. The good news is that as individuals we can help our local bee populations! Just like the bees teach us, one bee can make a big difference for their community.
Do you have any other thoughts about working together with Comvita to rescue bees?
Comvita’s commitment to community involvement and engagement is also important to me!