We are a mother daughter team, Gail and Rebecca Conroy, who keep bee hives in Pinellas county Florida at three apiaries (St. Petersburg, Largo, Redington Shores). We fell in love with bees 13 years ago with our first hive on the roof. Our bees pollinate millions of flowers within a 5 mile radius, connecting us intimately to the ecosystem we live in. We believe in working with the bees naturally and holistically. We manage bee diseases and pests without chemicals and we don’t feed soy pollen substitute, corn syrup or sugar. We carefully harvest honey by hand and always leave our bees plenty for themselves.
We have been keeping honeybees for about 13 years, slowly building up our hives by splitting, catching swarms, and relocating bees. Learning from them and teaching about them is great fun. We are always encouraging people to be treatment free backyard beekeepers and connecting local beekeepers with each other to help spread the love of bees.
Rebecca’s Story: Due to some health issues a decade ago I found myself researching the chemicals listed on skin and hair product labels and I was so shocked with all the toxins we put on the largest organ of our body (our skin). I mean, if you won’t swallow it, why would you put it on your skin? I began making my own healthy products from natural, wholesome ingredients like honey, lavender, oatmeal, olive oil, cocoa powder, and essential oils.
Shortly thereafter I read Michael Pollen’s book Omnivores Dilemma and decided to find some more local food. I joined a CSA and then in seeking out local butter I found the idea of nutrient dense food from the Weston A. Price Foundation. A foray into local food led me to a way of eating based on the traditional knowledge of our ancestors. No longer would I be swayed by each new trend in the news or scientific community, now I was on the path of what humans have been eating for thousands of years. To me there is no better guide and I am still learning.
All my natural living activities expanded hugely when I left my career as a high school chemistry teacher to devote my time to living and teaching the useful skills that I and so many others have been called to learn. With a background in chemistry and teaching, I’ve found a comfortable niche to do both and help people find a way to nourish and care for their bodies, their families and the world that supports us.
Reorienting my priorities has been more difficult than I thought it would be and I find I am constantly learning to be in this world. Strangely, it wasn’t until I left ‘teaching’ as a formal career that I remembered how much I love teaching and am a teacher at heart – this has brought happiness, new friends, and a deeper purpose to life.
Within the last few years my mom, Gail Conroy, and I have built a small business together taking our honey and other bee gifts to the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market. I am truly blessed to have my mom to work with. As our time with the bees grows we are finding that best gifts from the bees are their medicines. Pollen, propolis, beeswax candles, breathing the air from the hives and even their stings have health benefits we are still exploring with wonder.
If you would like to email me directly I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or #727-688-9069