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Isabees owner Jane Sueme started beekeeping in 2004, when she noticed a lack of pollinators in her garden. In 2009, she opened the area’s first beekeeping supply shop.
Why Be a Beekeeper
Since 2006, when the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder escalated, honeybees have been disappearing.
Who Keeps Bees
“Traditionally, it’s been farmers, homesteaders, and carpenters who kept bees,” says Sueme, who also co-founded Saint Louis Beekeepers. “In the last five years, I’ve seen everyone from parents wanting to teach their kids an appreciation for nature to retired people looking for a hobby.”
How to Get Started
Read up on bees and join a beekeeping association, like the Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Association or Three Rivers Beekeepers in St. Charles. Isabees also sells a starter kit that includes everything you’ll need (except the bees).
What You’ll Love
Some call it “farming for intellectuals.” Virgil and Aristotle were beekeepers. “It’s dynamic,” says Sueme. “It seems like there’s always something new to learn.” And bees are crucial to the food chain: “It really touches a lot of different aspects of our lives.”
By appointment only. 12540 Old Tesson, 314-894-8737, isabees.com.
Put local honey on your “honey-do” list. These area producers are making something sweet to share. —Brittany Ruess