282: Stephanie Elson Bruneau on Benevolent Bees.

            Understanding a gentle and helpful creature essential to our food production.

Stephanie is a beekeeper, herbalist, and artist. She runs The Benevolent Bee, where she spends her time educating all of us about bees. At the Benevolent Bee “Teaching Apiary” Stephanie observes, learns, and teaches about bees and bee behavior to students of all ages. Stephanie also teaches classes about bees and their products at Northeastern University, The Cambridge Center for Adult and Community Education, The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, The Boston School of Herbal Studies, and Temple University.  She is also the author of an aptly named book titled The Benevolent Bee.

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In This Podcast:

 It was a simple and unexpected class that ignited Stephanie Elson Bruneau’s passion for beekeeping and many others are benefiting from this as well.  She takes the time to explain some of the key aspects of bees and beekeeping, as well as clear up some common misconceptions about a gentle and helpful creature of the natural world. Her story includes a couple of EPIC moments that hopefully will inspire you to seek out something for your own passion!

Listen in and learn about:

    • Being interested in the natural world since she was a young kid
    • Working for the Massachusetts Audubon society and finding a class on beekeeping
    • Finding a strong connection to the topic of bees and sharing that passion with her husband
    • Setting up a hive while living in her apartment (Another Epic Moment!)
    • Moving her hives to the Boston Nature Society
    • The beehive bike tour which is growing in popularity
    • Then moving her hives to other locations after they moved, including one at a preschool
    • No matter the age, the same questions keep being asked
    • A bit of what knowledge is needed for beekeeping
    • Some byproducts of bees that lead to interesting craft products
    • Addressing the issue of bees and bee stings
    • Finding out that she was allergic AFTER she had already fallen in love with beekeeping
    • Working with venom immunotherapy
    • The types of reactions that happen with bee stings
    • The typical hive picture that is commonly pictured and misrepresents the actual bee
    • Why bees don’t usually attack or sting and are gentle creatures instead
    • Becoming a bee ambassador with your neighbors
    • Sharing and educating about the whole picture of what bees do

As well as:

Her failure – Her beekeeping business because she did not enjoy running the business end as much as the joy of giving her bee products to people

Her success – Raising her daughter to have a healthy interest in the natural world and have no fear of the bees, and watching her kids develop a similar passion to her own

Her drive – Her passion and interest for the creature of the bee

Her advice – To find and follow your passion in life – and help the children in your life to find and follow their passion too!

Books written by Stephanie:

The Benevolent Bee: Capture the Bounty of the Hive through Science, History, Home Remedies and Craft – Includes recipes and techniques for honey, beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, pollen, and bee venom

Stephanie’s Book recommendations:      

Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen: Delicious, Nourishing Food for Lifelong Health and Well-Being by Brittany Wood Nickerson

How to reach Stephanie:   

Website: www.thebenevolentbee.com


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