A Behind the Scenes Visit With Beekeeper Alice Hinman
I have always been amazed by bees, and I can honestly say that Alice Hinman conjures up that same feeling of amazement. She is so dedicated to her work and her work is not easy. Alice is the founder of the non-profit organization, Apiopolis an urban bee sanctuary. In addition to community outreach and education, she lovingly takes care of 80 hives around the area. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know Alice and her bees.
I recently met Alice at one of her pollinator locations. There are two hives at the Well Fed Community Garden in Raleigh. The Well Fed Garden is another uplifting organization, click here to check out their Facebook page.
Alice gets the smoker ready with dried leaves. She uses the smoke to calm the bees. She does not use much, just enough to gently throw off the bees pheromones.
Alice is taking off the security strap. I asked her why the hives are strapped. "The straps are to deter animals of the human kind and because I manage hives at so many locations if there's a storm like Matthew, I'm one step ahead. I also weight them with cinder blocks. The bees also propolize everything and I break that seal when I open the cover. By strapping and weighting, it helps reseal."
Alice then starts to remove the frames carefully, checking each one. This image sort of reminds me of files in a filing cabinet. The bee files.
The beekeeper is pleased with how things look today. However, Alice asserts "Bees are in a crisis right now. We need to bring them back to health and wellbeing but more than that, we need to help them be vibrant and thrive. They are remarkable creatures. Everything they do is for the good of the hive."
Alice looks so poised and model-like in this photograph. What she is really doing is calmly getting a bee out of her hair.
All is good today. It is time to button it up and move on to another site.
Take aways from my visit -bees are designers, creators and sustainers. They are energetic beings able to sense our innermost feelings and respond to that sense accordingly. They are in this world on a journey just like us. They do their very best to fulfill their purpose.
Alice will be giving a talk about natural beekeeping at the Village Art Circle Gallery on May 21, 2017 Click here for details.
Click here to find out more about Alice and how you can support her efforts.