A NATURAL, AIRBORNE STEWARD of our environment, honeybees have been making national news for the last decade or so. High population collapses due to a variety of factors — including varroa mites, pesticides, bad agricultural practices and a lack of resources — put the buzzing insect into the spotlight, inspiring a subsequent increase in beekeepers to take up their cause. We talked to a few members of the Marin Beekeepers Club to learn about the hobby’s appeal, and we discovered that in addition to
bolstering the surrounding environment, improving garden quality and providing a source of that amber-hued sweet
stuff, bees are simply nice to have around.
Who enjoys beekeeping? Bonnie Morse, a longtime Marin Beekeeper Club member, and her husband, Gary, own Bonnie
Bee and Company, a local, sustainable supplier of bees, maintaining 130 hives at 18 apiaries throughout the county. She
introduced us to fellow club members Dave Peterson and Linda Albion. All are lovers of gardening, honey, flowers and the
buzzing backyard company only contented honeybees can provide. Whether you are a retiree or a nine-to-fiver or are looking for a fun family activity, keeping bees on a small scale is a great way to enhance your home while helping the planet.
ALL THE BUZZ
More than just producing the sweet stuff, Marin’s beekeepers also have a
hand in improving the environment and the quality of your garden.
BY CALIN VAN PARIS • PHOTOS BY TODD PICKERING