Georgia Master Beekeeper Program: Master Beekeepers
- Cindy Bee, Master Beekeeper
- Jimmy Carmack, Master Beekeeper
- Keith Fielder, Master Beekeeper
- Lonnie W. Funderburg, Master Beekeeper
- Michael Gailey, Master Beekeeper
- Tom Handford, Master Beekeeper
- Fred Hembree, Master Beekeeper
- Cindy Hodges, Master Beekeeper
- Julia Mahood, Master Beekeeper
- Will Montgomery, Master Beekeeper
- Steven Nofs, Master Beekeeper
- Bill Owens, Master Craftsman Beekeeper
- Jay Parsons, Master Beekeeper
- Jim Quick, Master Beekeeper
- Paul Smith, Master Beekeeper
- Michael Steinkampf, Master Beekeeper
- Virginia Stephens Webb, Master Beekeeper
- Linda Tillman, Master Beekeeper
- Damon Wallace, Master Beekeeper
- Amy Weeks, Master Beekeeper
- Michael Young, Master Beekeeper
Cindy Bee grew up with bees, following in her father’s footsteps, and eventually took over his operation. She has been removing honeybees from structures as a full time job for twelve years. She operates approximately 65 hives, is a honey producer, gives talks and lectures nationally (mainly in the winter), makes candles, provides apitherapy, and is on the Board of Directors for the Metro Atlanta Bee Club. Cindy was recognized by the Georgia Beekeeper's Association as the 2006 Beekeeper of the Year. During spring swarm season she receives and distributes swarm calls to other beekeepers and is always on call for questions and suggestions to beginning beekeepers. She is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing and is collecting stories from beekeepers age 70 and older who have been keeping bees for more than 25 years.
Volunteer services available:
Cindy is an active instructor for the Junior Beekeepers’ Program, donates honeybees to nature centers, has mentored young beekeepers who are starting out, is a speaker at state and local and national bee meetings, and provides apitherapy.
Paid services available:
Provides apiary consultations, talks and lectures on beekeeping.
877 Madison Street
Comer, GA 30629
As a child I was always fascinated by bees and would catch them in jars to watch. I worked with a man who kept bees and he took me to the Sears and Roebuck store in downtown Birmingham where Sears had a large stock of beekeeping supplies. He showed me what to buy along with the “First Lessons in Beekeeping” book. So, in 1973 I ordered my first bees from Sears and Roebuck Co. which came from York Bee Company in Jesup, GA. I have been keeping bees ever since. I am a self-employed heavy equipment mechanic and sideline beekeeper, and lately it seems I have become more beekeeper and less mechanic.
My wife, Linda Kaye, and I met at a bee convention in Alabama, and we were married in our bee suits in Reno, NV, at the American Beekeeping Federation Convention in 2005. We have about 80 colonies of bees spread between Mobile and Huntsville, AL. We primarily produce wildflower honey, cotton honey and occasionally kudzu honey. These honeys have won numerous local, state and national ribbons. In 2007, Whole Foods Market, a national grocery chain, opened their first and only store in Alabama and contacted us to be their local honey supplier after sampling a variety of honeys from this area.
I have served as President/Vice President of Jefferson County Beekeepers Association numerous times and President/Vice President of the Alabama Beekeepers Association three times each. I was involved in the talks with the Alabama Farmers Federation in creating a Bee and Honey Commodity with their organization, and served on their Bee and Honey State Committee for 9 years which is the term limit. Currently I am the EAS Director for Alabama. Over the years I have been on numerous local TV shows, radio and newspaper articles to educate, promote and address honeybee issues.
Swarm retrieval and occasional bee programs to civic and church groups. Have participated in workshops and short courses at Auburn University, state and local bee meetings, have set up exhibits at fairs, Earth Day, and Farm Day for Kids at schools around the state. Currently establishing an apiary at Jones Valley Urban Farm in downtown Birmingham to use for beekeeping education and mentoring.
Bee removal from buildings, honey sales at numerous produce, health food and grocery stores in several counties. In summer months, I keep busy participating at several farmers markets.
201 17th Ave NW
Birmingham AL 35215
Keith Fielder can trace his roots and passion for beekeeping to his English, Scottish and German ancestors who first came to Georgia in the late 1700s. He is a sideline beekeeper with around 30 colonies which provide extracted, chunk and comb honey. He also produces specialty honeys like Sourwood, Cotton and Blackberry. The honey along with beeswax products are marketed locally by Keith’s wife Rose Anne. Beekeeping also allows Keith to indulge his hobby of wood working by making most his own wooden ware.
Keith has been an invited educational speaker and guest lecturer on apicultural topics for beekeeping organizations and community groups, not only across Georgia, but on a national and international level as well. He has lectured and presented workshops at the meetings of the Georgia Beekeepers Association, Eastern Apicultural Society, and most recently at the summer meeting of the Institute of Northern Irish Beekeepers. Keith serves on the staff of the annual Young Harris – UGA Beekeeping Institute in Young Harris, Georgia. He also enjoys working with various youth oriented groups such as Georgia 4-H, informing young people about the honeybee and beekeeping.
Keith is a certified Welsh Honey Judge and as such was extended the honor of being the first U.S. Welsh Honey Judge to serve as a Judges Steward at the Great Yorkshire Honey Show in Harrogate, England in 2008.
He has been sought out for comment on apicultural matters by media outlets such as the New York Times, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Magazine and the British Broadcasting Company.
Keith has served the Georgia Beekeepers Association first as Secretary then as President during 2006-2007 and Past President 2007-2008.
He is employed by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension as the County Extension Coordinator for Putnam County.
In the fall of 1989, a remark by a retiring client, "I want to set up some bee hives", sparked my interest. I visited a commercial beekeeper, Louis Harbin, who referred me to Jim Cain. After assembling and painting six brood boxes and eighteen shallow supers then installing six packages for my retiring client in April 1990, I began acquiring colonies of my own. Since 1991 I have been the resident beekeeper at Homestead Hollow, a folk festival held three weekends a year in Springville, Alabama. In 2003, I began the certification program at the Young Harris Beekeeping Institute. At the May 2005 course, I was awarded my Georgia Master Beekeeper. Usually, I have between fifteen and twenty-five colonies in four locations. One colony has been in the atrium of the Professional Office Building of Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama since 2005. Beginning in 1999, I have moved some colonies to unique nectar sources such as Ti Ti, gallberry, and cotton.
At most every opportunity I will speak to a class, garden club, or civic organization. I have made presentations at Pell City's Kids Day on the Farm (1), Huntsville's Constitution Village (2), Scottsboro's Heritage Day (2), Madison County Fair's E-Day (5), Carbon Hill Elementary's After School Program (1), Blountsville Elementary School (8), Springville Elementary School (1), and many local bee associations. Birmingham television station WBRC Fox 6 featured me with my hospital atrium colony on Good Day Alabama. I was a guest on the Oneonta WKLD radio station. So far, I have not charged for any of these presentations.
Over the past six years I have assisted with a dozen bee removals from structures. My wife, Bonnie, and I sell honey, candles, lip balm, skin cream, and hand lotion. When available, I sell nucs.
1260 Easley Bridge Road
Oneonta, AL 35121-4110
Michael passed away December 2008.
My interest in beekeeping started about 15 years ago. I had no bees of my own; I was helping a friend with his. After a few years my curiosity grew and I wanted to learn more. I signed up for the Young Harris Beekeeping Institute, the State Bee Club and a local club. I was reading about bees everyday at work during my lunch break. I then felt confident enough to sign up for the Master Beekeeper Program. I was in one of the first groups to receive the Master degree after four years. I now have 25 colonies, raise my own queens and build my own equipment. I sell out of honey every year, wishing I had more. What started as a curiosity has become my favorite hobby.
My wife is the 4-H Coordinator in Banks County and I have many opportunities to volunteer in our local school system by giving presentations and by helping with 4-H District Project Achievement (DPA) projects and presentations. I have a Power Point presentation on the hive equipment and accessories that I build and sell.
I build and sell white pine bee hive equipment and accessories to local people in the Northeast Georgia area. It has become a very successful sideline business.
I sell pure local honey to local people and businesses. In 2009, I will be partnering with Bob Binnie to sell nucs to local beekeepers.
In 2005 North Carolina offered 2 hives for free to new beekeepers through the Gold Leaf program. Having enjoyed my introduction to mushroom production through the Gold Leaf program I applied, but I was not chosen to get a hive. However, an interest was sparked and Robert Brewer (Towns County, GA Agriculture Extension Service), Larry Sams (president of North GA Beekeepers Association), and Keith Wood (Cherokee County, NC Extension Service) held an introductory beekeeping meeting in Andrews, NC. There I learned about the Young Harris Bee Institute and subsequently enrolled.
After the Bee Institute, I was stung by the bug. The real adventure started two weeks later; my wife bought me my first hive and suit for Father’s Day. When I took my son to get the hive he was traumatized with his fear of bees. We had one bee suit between us. While I closed up the hive my son watched. Then I removed my suit and gave it to him. We managed to take off one super and make a stretcher to carry the hive and other super to the truck. When we arrived back at the house we carried the bees across the creek on a make-shift bridge (because the agreement was that the bees were to stay on the other side of the creek!). After tucking in the bees for the night we went up to the house and I put the honey super on the front porch in order to clean it the next day. Little did we know … the next afternoon when my son arrived home from school I got a call telling me that we had a new hive on the front porch! Then my wife arrived home! Needless to say, I learned a great deal about the robbing behaviors of the honeybee that day. But best of all, my son started losing his fear of bees.
The last six years has been a series of beekeeping adventures – I have continued to attend the Beekeeping Institute where I became a Welsh Honey Judge and a Master Beekeeper. I have also attended the Born and Bred Program in North Carolina and hope to work more in queen rearing. I have become involved in bee removal from structures. I am a charter member of the Appalachian Beekeepers Association and Vice President of the North Georgia Mountain Beekeepers Association.
Services Available: Bee presentations with /or without bees, honey judging, and bee removals from structure for a fee. (Droning on to anyone who will listen is always free!)
14 Golden Rd.
Murphy NC 28906
Fred Hembree first became fascinated with honeybees as a little boy when he was asked to help his grandfather harvest honey on a rural Tennessee farm. As a young adult, he was given a copy of Walter T. Kelley’s book, How to Keep Bees and Sell Honey, which he read numerous times until he felt confident enough to build his first two hives and begin an apiary on his own. Now a third-generation beekeeper, Fred has written articles for Bee Culture Magazine and Farming Magazine. He is a member of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association and the Robertson County and Rutherford County Beekeepers Associations. Fred has presented workshops for the Tennessee Beekeepers Association Annual Conference and for the Heartland Apicultural Society. While there are many aspects of beekeeping that Fred enjoys, he particularly likes helping newcomers get started in beekeeping.
Fred is married to Debra Church, a Young Harris College / UGA Certified Beekeeper. Together, they enjoy working bees, catching swarms, harvesting honey and sharing their knowledge of beekeeping with others. They manage an apiary of approximately a dozen hives and take pleasure in producing local honey for sale.
In the tradition of Rev. Lorenzo Langstroth, Father of American Beekeeping, Fred is also a clergyman apiarist. He earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia and is an ordained minister. Fred is currently serving as Senior Pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Springfield, Tennessee.
Fred is available to speak at beekeeping meetings and to schools, churches or civic groups. Assistance with travel expenses and honoraria is appreciated.
3624 Legacy Drive
Springfield, TN 37172-6382
Cindy Hodges is a native of Atlanta and a graduate of Emory University. She is involved in volunteer work with The Assistance League of Atlanta as well as with The Friends of the Dunwoody Library. She and her husband own and operate “Hodges Honey” apiaries located in Dunwoody and Decatur. She maintains the observation hive at Dunwoody Nature Center. Her passion is exploring the art of suburban beekeeping. Cindy has many awards from honey contests at the local, state, and international levels. She is a prize winning photographer and enjoys photographing bees at work. She has been interviewed on television, quoted in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and has published articles in Bee Craft Magazine (UK) and Bee Culture Magazine (USA). Cindy is on the Board of Directors and Secretary of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers’ Association and is also on the Board of Directors and secretary of the Georgia Beekeepers’ Association.
Cindy frequently speaks about bees and beekeeping at nature centers, garden clubs, schools, festivals, and other organizations and events. One of her more popular activities is bringing an observation hive which allows the group to closely view worker bees, the queen, and various stages of brood in a colony. She handles swarm removal and rescues and is pleased to sell local raw honey when available.
5100 North Peachtree Road
Dunwoody, Georgia 30338-4508
Growing up in a house full of girls who were all terrified of bugs, Julia never imagined she would become a beekeeper. Things that flew and stung were to be completely avoided. But when she became a mother, Julia's two sons introduced her to the fascinating and wonderful world of insects. In 2004, inspired by the book, The Secret Life of Bees, she took a weekend course at the Campbell Folk School. Her yard, and her passion for bees, has been buzzing ever since. A sideline beekeeper, Julia keeps hives at her home, at community gardens in Atlanta, and in the north Georgia mountains. She has incorporated bees into her love of travel, visiting beekeepers in Israel, Mexico, and Peru. Julia has found that the educational opportunities within the beekeeping community, both as a student and as a teacher, have greatly increased her enjoyment and continued fascination with all things Bee. She loves sharing this passion with her sons. Unable to have pets due to various allergies, the bees have become the family "pets". An active member of the Metro Atlanta Beekeeper’s Association, Julia serves on the board of directors, mentors new beekeepers, and facilitates educational opportunities for members in the community. She has won many awards for her honey products. When she’s not sweating in a bee suit, Julia is an artist, graphic designer and business entrepreneur with a successful line of decorative magnets for cars. She lives in Atlanta with her three handsome "boys"–one husband and two sons.
Presentations to non‐beekeeping groups of children or adults.
For beekeeping clubs, Julia is available to speak for a fee. Subjects include:
Natural & Foundation‐less Beekeeping
How To Give Engaging Bee Talks to Non‐beekeeping Groups
Making Creamed Honey
4790 Huntley Dr., NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
I started keeping bees about 1976 in California, the state where I was born and raised. I try to help new people interested in starting out with a hive or two of bees. I'm listed at alabees.com on the web where most people find my contact information. One of my most memorable experiences in keeping bees was to be selected as a cooperator in a research project funded by Alfa Insurance and the USDA bee lab in Baton Rouge, LA.
I got to know Dr. Bob Danka when he brought me 15 queens, 5 Russian, 5 VSH, and 5 Control. I was privileged to participate in the project for two years. The goal was to see which type of queen was the most resistant to the mite Varroa destructor. When instructed to do so, I would collect 300 bee samples into plastic bags and either take or send them to the University of Alabama Huntsville campus where Dr. Ward would do a mite count and calculate whether or not a hive needed medication. The VSH queens proved to be the more mite resistant, followed by the Russians and as expected the control queens were the poorest. The most difficult portion of the experiment was getting queen acceptance. In some cases the hive would accept a queen, only to supersede her within two weeks. I've had many hobbies in the past, but beekeeping is the only one that has given the most challenge and satisfaction. I currently manage about 25 hives in Alabama.
I pick up swarms and remove bees from a building for a fee. I sometimes attend a farmers market in Gadsden, AL, selling honey and beeswax candles. I have two prerequisites if you want my assistance getting started with bees: (1) hives must be registered with the AL State Apiary Department and (2) you must be a member of the Alabama State Beekeepers Association.
1401 Lakemont Dr S
Southside, AL 35907
Unlike most beekeepers who learned the craft from a close friend or family member, I had no exposure to honeybees until my 20s. While finishing my engineering degree at Virginia Tech, I needed some electives and while searching the course catalog, I found “Introduction to Bees and Beekeeping.” That course got me hooked and I have thoroughly enjoyed keeping bees ever since.
Along with my wife Jacqueline, we produce honey and many other hive products in the central Georgia area including bee pollen, beeswax candles, and lip balms. Our products can be found in several central Georgia retail outlets as well as local farm markets.
I am currently serving as president of the Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Association. I have appeared on Macon’s WMAZ-TV and have written beekeeping articles for the Macon Telegraph. I have also done numerous presentations for children’s groups and civic groups.
I am available to do honeybee presentations (with or without live bees). I also pick up hanging swarms and remove honeybees from structures.
304 Woodmont Court
Macon, GA 31216
Bill Owens, native of Georgia, grew up around honey bees as a child. He loved nature and the outdoors. After a serving in the U.S. Navy, Bill settled in Monroe, Georgia and he started keeping bees of his own. Bill also joined the Monroe City Fire Department where he quickly moved up in the ranks. In 2000, Bill converted his small single hive hobby into a successful sideline business with over 100 colonies called Owen Apiaries. In addition to honey production, Bill owns and operates Georgia Bee Removal, a subsidiary of Owens Apiaries. Georgia Bee Removal is a company that removes honey bee colony infestations, as well as other insects such as yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets, from homes and businesses around the state. From 2004 to 2006, Bill assisted with field research at the University of Georgia honey bee lab.
Bill earned his AAS in Fire Science Technology at Lanier Technical College in 2005 and BS in Fire Science Management from American Military University in 2008. At the same time, Bill was also studying bees. After five years of study in 2006 through the University of Georgia and Young Harris College, Bill earned the certification and title Master Craftsman Beekeeper. Bill is the first beekeeper in Georgia to earn the highest certification in this trade. It is a title which he alone still holds as of today. Bill’s work is published in multiple news and magazine articles. He has honey bee research published in Apidologie, the leading journal devoted to bee science. In 2011, he co-wrote and published his first book on honey bee removals Bee Removal: A step by step guide. Bill does consulting work and speaking engagements on honey bees, bee safety, and the bee industry in general. He is a member of the Georgia Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) Committee and one of the leading developers/presenters of the training for public safety personnel in the state for the response of AHB stinging incidents. In his spare time, Bill teaches core curriculum of fire science at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Formally Dekalb Tech) and is an continuing education instructor for North Georgia Technical College in their newly developed Basic Beekeeping program. He also designs websites and is the web master of the Georgia Beekeepers Association.
Bill has served in many leadership roles within the honey bee industry to include Chairman of the Eastern Piedmont Beekeepers Association, President of the Georgia Beekeepers Association, and Vice President of the Eastern Apicultural Society. Bill earned the Walton County Public Servant of the year in 2006 and City of Monroe Firefighter of the Year in 2003. His other roles at Monroe City Fire Department have included City Fire Inspector, Chief of Training, and Public Information Officer as well as the Chairman of the Walton County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
Bill is an entrepreneur, author, instructor, firefighter and beekeeper who enjoys the simple life with his wife Lisa, their dogs and acres of bees. Bill and Lisa hope to build a small house on their 10 acres of land in Morgan County, where they can have their own homestead.
It’s been a few years, but by all accounts Jay has been kept by the bees since April of 2007. This is not the first time bees have been in the family. His grandfather had bees, although it’s been about half a century from that point in time until now. Jay remembers on his way out to collect eggs from the chicken house and being cautioned by his grandfather not to go behind it because there were bees there. Well, curiosity being what it is, Jay, after returning with the eggs, just had to ask what those white boxes behind the chicken house were for. He missed out on a good education there as his grandfather died very young and never was able to pass on all that beekeeping information.
After two other Master’s degrees, one in Science and another in Education, this current Master’s in Beekeeping through the Beekeeping Institute seems like a fine blend of curricula. He plans on continuing in this field of bees and dreams well into retirement and feels that there is a whole lot more entomology to learn as well as practices to implement. Now that Jay has a few over twenty hives, he thinks it is time to expand on a number of themes. His honey house is nearly complete and Department of Agriculture approval just down the road, so certain commercial avenues may open up in the future. More hives are a definite as well.
Currently Jay is a member of the Board of Director’s of the Metro-Atlanta Beekeeper’s Association and participates in a number of community awareness public service activities. Jay has been active in the honey contest sector too and has a number of red, white, and blue ribbons not to mention a Best of Show ribbon also. He has won the ribbons for extracted honey in several color grades, wax block, section comb, creamed honey, and mead. Perhaps candles, sculptures and other related products will be next. His favorite however, is getting the bees to make wax and honey in the older section comb tradition using the square basswood boxes. He uses antique section comb cartons when participating in honey shows.
When not being taken to task by his Apis friends to maintain their little wooden square homes or repair the furniture therein, Jay teaches for the Cobb County School System. An early retirement always seems like a really fine idea when it comes up for discussion.
Jay is available for outside swarm removals, removals from inside houses, and select presentations with an observation hive. Jay sells honey and candles at some of his presentations and is also developing a fledgling website to promote products and honeybee awareness.
Jim attributes his love for honeybees to his grandfather who began teaching him the craft in 1979. Today, Jim operates about 40 hives, produces and sells honey, and is on call for swarm removal.
Jim is an advocate for honeybees and beekeeping. He hopes by speaking to young students about the importance of the honeybee he can inspire them be the next generation of beekeepers. Jim speaks at many of the local daycares and primary and elementary schools. He has spoken to several Boy Scout troops, 4-H clubs and Home School Associations. Jim also maintains an observation hive for the Griffin-Spalding County Schools Science and Enrichment Center.
He has made presentations at the Georgia Beekeepers Association annual meeting and the annual Young Harris College / UGA Beekeeping Institute in Young Harris, Georgia.
Jim is available to new beekeepers to answer questions on the various aspects of beekeeping, demonstrate how to work and maintain a hive, honey extraction, how to catch a swarm, and swarm removal from a structure.
Jim is employed at the University of Georgia – Griffin Campus. He is a Research Professional in the Entomology Department.
Presentations, Demonstrations, and Bee Removal. All services are evaluated individually to determine fee.
Paul was born and raised is Seattle, WN, in 1942. He joined the U.S. Naval Air Reserve in Seattle in 1958 and became and Aviation Electronics Technician. He served two years aboard the USS Pine Island (AV-12) and became a ham radio operator K7YSU. P.D. toured the Far East and earned his Shellback Status traveling to the Galapagos Islands. Paul’s current call is N4CUA and he is active in the Athens Radio Club, which emphasizes public service. His favorite activity is working with the American Red Cross (ARC) during UGA football games. Paul is, also, a regular blood donor for the local ARC. He has served over 32 years.
Paul earned an MS in Ecology (Biology) in 1973 from the University of Minnesota. Paul was hired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Ely, MN., May 1971. He worked on the Shagawa Lake Project that demonstrated the efficacy of removing phosphorus from municipal sewage to control eutrophication of lakes. Subsequently, phosphorus could no longer be used to build detergents.
He worked 35 years as a Research Aquatic Biologist. In 1976, he was transferred to Corvallis, OR, and, in 1979, to Athens, GA, retiring in 2005. Paul and his wife, Albie, bought a home with a developed garden, many fruit trees and blueberries. The previous owner kept honeybees for pollination, and we liked their Tulip poplar honey. Paul decided to take an extension course on beekeeping at UGA in the fall of 1979. He has been keeping honeybees, ever since.
In 1995, Paul was one of the founding members of the Eastern Piedmont Beekeepers Assn. He served as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice-Chairman and Chairman. Smith regularly attends the UGA Beekeeping Institute (BKI) held yearly at the Young Harris College to keep current with management practices. The Institute began in 1991, is International in scope, and features a comprehensive Honey Show. There are 14 different categories for folks to compete, from art, to candles making, to extracted honey, mead making and photography. Paul has won "Best in Show" twice, for extracted honey, and, twice, won the "Black Jar" award for best tasting honey. He has also won blue ribbons for chunk honey and beeswax candles. At the 2012 BKI, Smith was awarded the official title of "Georgia Master Beekeeper". Paul & Albie have two children (all working is health care) and four grandchildren.
Paul's public service interests are swarm removal and mentoring newbie's, consulting about removing bees fom structures, presenting programs on the health benefits of hive productsand selling hive products.
305 Crestwood Drive
Athens, GA 30605
Phone: (706) 548-6296 (Cell)
Michael Steinkampf is a reproductive endocrinologist who directs Alabama Fertility Specialists, a private fertility clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. He has degrees in Chemistry from LSU and Princeton University. Michael came late to the world of beekeeping, having begun at the age of 55, but he has made up for lost time by engaging in a variety of beekeeping activities. Starting with one hive in 2009, he now has about 30 hives sited throughout north central Alabama, including a research apiary in Wilsonville, Alabama, which he operates with his mentor and colleague John Hurst.
Michael has written beekeeping articles for his local newspaper, for Bee Culture magazine, and for an educational Internet blog (www.sandhurstbees.com) that documents his beekeeping adventures. He has given invited presentations at the Auburn University Beekeeping Symposium on medical aspects of beekeeping, and he recently mentored a Boy Scout on a beekeeping-related Eagle Scout Service Project.
Two years ago, Michael began supplying members of his local beekeepers club with swarm lure that he formulated himself; the number of repeat customers attest to its effectiveness. Since 2010, he has served as a volunteer observer for the NASA HoneyBeeNet scale hive network (his site info and data can be accessed at http://honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sites/ScaleHiveSite.php?SiteID=AL002).
Michael considers one of his most important achievements to be introducing his beekeeping mentor to the concept of integrated pest management (IPM), and suggesting that they attend the Young Harris College/UGA Beekeeping Institute. In 2011, Michael won Best of Show at the YHC/UGA Honey Show for his innovative observation hive, which he subsequently established at the Birmingham Zoo. He recently became the first Georgia Master Beekeeper to be awarded a research grant from the National Honey Board; his project aims to study changes in hive design that could improve honey bee health. Michael’s ultimate goal is to use his knowledge of reproductive biology and chemistry to become a better beekeeper.
Sandhurst Bee Company
3308 Sandhurst Road
Mountain Brook, AL 35223
Phone (205) 874-0000
Joe Stephens, Virginia’s father is her model for beekeeping. Beekeeping was a family hobby for many years and in 1964 Virginia received her first beehive. From then forward she was hooked on keeping bees. Virginia was the first 4-H winner in Tennessee Beekeeping and was the 1975 Tennessee State Honey Queen.
Today she and her husband Carl are full time commercial beekeepers and queen breeders in North Georgia. Their beekeeping operation consists of over 350 production colonies and a queen yard. They specialize in raising Russian Queens. Virginia became the first Certified Welsh Honey Judge in the United States. She has competed throughout the United States and in Europe in honey show and has won Best in Show in over 20 shows. In 2005 Virginia and her husband attended the Apimondia (World Beekeeping Federation) and entered the first ever World Honey Show. With over 21 countries participating, and 400 individual entries, Virginia’s Sourwood Honey won the top Honor of BEST HONEY IN THE WORLD. This year at the American Beekeeping Federation Honey Show, Virginia again won Best in Show for the 3rd time.
Virginia is a greatly sought after speaker, speaking to beekeeping clubs, agriculture organizations and civic clubs throughout the US. She has worked with beekeepers in almost every state and in the Caribbean. She also writes about the importance of beekeeping in agriculture.
Currently she is a member of the American Beekeeping Federation Board of Directors, the Georgia Farm Bureau Honeybee Advisory Committee, Treasurer of the Georgia Beekeepers Assoc., a charter member of the Russian Queen Breeders Association and past member of the National Honey Board Nominations Committee.
1993 Georgia Beekeeper of the Year, 2002 North Georgia Farm Bureau, Farm Woman of the Year, Tennessee Beekeepers Assoc. Life Time Member and Past President of the Georgia Beekeepers Association and Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Assoc.
Teaching Children about Bees. Currently Virginia speaks to over 2,000 children each year about the importance of beekeeping and the roll of beekeepers. Workshops on Conservation and Beekeeping (Beekeepers have always been Green); Marketing Outside the Beehive; Everything You Wanted to Know about Beeswax (Candles, Ornaments, Painting and Cooking); Preparing Honey to Show and Small Operation Queen Breeding.
Linda Tillman has been interested in beekeeping since the 70s when she checked out all the books she could find in the Nashville library on how to have bees in your backyard. With raising children, finishing graduate school, and starting a career along the way, she didn’t actually begin keeping bees until 2006.
Linda now has hives at her home and maintains hives at two community gardens. To keep records of her beekeeping experiences, Linda started an Internet blog in April 2006 when she installed her first nucs (www.beekeeperlinda.com). She writes about her beekeeping learning experiences, her mistakes and her successes. On her blog she demonstrates her passion for natural beekeeping, using no poisons and foundationless frames, among other natural beekeeping practices. She has made and posted videos on basic beekeeping skills such as inspecting a hive, harvesting honey without an extractor, using a simple solar wax melter, and other topics. She posts frequently on her blog which is visited by people from all over the world, gets about 750 visits a day in busy season, and has almost 1000 subscribers.
Linda has been interviewed for Internet podcasts and on Atlanta radio programs. She has given talks
and workshops big and small, from local garden clubs, scout troops, and school groups in the Atlanta
area to the Southeast Organic Beekeepers Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida. One of her favorite
activities is mentoring new beekeepers. As a Director on the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association
Board, one way in which Linda mentors others is through working with new beekeepers in Metro’s
hands-on hive inspection program.
Having won many ribbons at honey shows, Linda gives talks to beekeepers on preparing honey for show, harvesting honey, as well as pouring wax blocks. Always interested in new ways to employ products of the hive, Linda has made lip balm, lotion, lotion bars, and candles with her beeswax and honey.
When she is not enjoying her sideline interest in beekeeping, Linda has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology
from Vanderbilt University and is in private practice in midtown Atlanta. She also teaches in Emory’s
Department of Rehabilitative Medicine where she trains doctoral students in physical therapy to
communicate well with their patients.
Swarm removal (if it doesn’t require a tall ladder!)
Talks on bees and beekeeping for garden clubs, school groups, camps, scout troops, community organizations, eco-fairs, science fairs, etc.
Talks to beekeeping groups on such topics as:
Harvesting honey without an extractor
• Making and using a solar wax melter
• Making your own lip balm and lotion
• Preparing honey and wax for entering a show
• Doing a basic hive inspection
5144 Timber Trail S NE,
Atlanta, GA 30342-2148
Looking for a meaningful hobby to fill a gap in some sort of “late mid-life crisis” led me to a bee symposium at a local university a number of Februarys ago. Seeing pollen in early February, not being stung during the open hive demonstration, and hearing a little about honeybees triggered a resurgence of “upbringing memories:” my Dad’s 3 acre garden, 4-H’er for 11 years, woodworker still with all my fingers, UGa Agricultural Engineer. I was captured by these fascinating little creatures – honey bees.
I give bee talks to just about anyone or any club who will listen. Several spring and fall festivals will find me talking bees, selling honey and promoting beekeeping. I’ve given presentations to community involvement groups, professional associations and even an international environmental conference.
I do swarm voluntary removals, preferring those chest-high on outer branches of the tree. I sell honey and make a small amount of candles and lotions for my family’s use.
My involvement with beekeeper associations includes charter membership and officerships with the Saughahatchee Beekeepers Association and Alabama Beekeepers Association. I am also certified in the Young Harris/UGA Beekeeping Institute Welsh Honey Judge program.
2003 Highpoint Drive
Opelika, Alabama 36801
In 2002 I planted a small fruit orchard on my property. Naturally I wanted some bees to pollinate the trees, so I cleaned up some empty beehive equipment that had been in storage in my in‐laws barn and the next spring I began catching my first swarms. I initially had little practical knowledge about bees, but I found and latched onto an excellent mentor in my area, learning all I could. It turns out I had a knack for the bees and my knowledge and experience with these insects has expounded. The more I learned about bees, the more I realized I did not know. I began to search for a Master Beekeeper program and was delighted to find Young Harris Beekeeping Institute. I have to admit my love for the Appalachian Mountains biased me a little in my decision to select the Young Harris program, but I have never regretted it. I also take advantage of learning all I can at the USDA Bee Lab in Baton Rouge.
I started my beekeeping journey with two caught swarms, and now I manage about 50 hives. In 2006 I began assisting a commercial beekeeping family with queen rearing and have now expanded to raising queens in my own apiary, focusing particularly on selecting for hygienic behavior, honey production, and gentleness. In the spring of each year I have mated queens available from VSH and Minnesota hygienic stock.
Keeping bees has become a family adventure. We home school and my three sons all have their own hives (at their request) from which they sell their own honey and bees. They also are an invaluable help when I go speak at children’s groups and schools. Keeping bees has been an excellent way to teach first hand the importance of bees in our ecosystem, science (biology and microbiology), stewardship, and entrepreneurship. Many groups have made the field trip to my apiary to learn more about these wonderful creatures and I have been invited to speak by many different organizations hungering to know more about bees.
I am currently President of Hill Country Beekeepers, serve on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Beekeepers Association, and am a member of American Apitherapy Society and Monroe’s Herb Society. I sell queens, nucs, raw local honey, and beeswax. I mentor new beekeepers each year and am available for speaking engagements. I enjoy speaking on all beekeeping subjects, but have most experience in queen rearing, beginning beekeeping basics, Africanized honey bees, and Apitherapy.
1498 Mock Rd.
West Monroe, Louisiana
Michael has held many officer positions in beekeeping organizations including:
- President of the Ulster Beekeepers Association
- Chairman of Dromore District Beekeepers Association
- Show Manager Dromore District Beekeepers Association
- Chairman for the Council of National Beekeeper Associations
- Chairman and founder of the Institute of the Northern Ireland Beekeepers Association
- Queen rearing
- Essential oils and oxalic acid
- African killer bees
- Honey judging producing exhibits for the show bench
- Mead making
- Bee disease
- All aspects of beekeeping
- Wax modeling, candles
- Gourmet honey cookery
- Encaustic wax painting
- Preparing bee produce for the show bench
- Making mead
- Practical beekeeping
- Judging bee produce at honey shows
Terms: accommodation, travel and food only required
0044 02892 689724