Mr. Celano, a Spanish and French teacher at Redlands East Valley has been an avid beekeeper since he was a teenager. He has multiple beehives that he maintains and spends his time outside of school working on. If you walk into his classroom, you’ll notice that many of his decorations include different accessories pertaining to bees and he even sometimes sells or gives out honey at school. He recently introduced Alex Kristoffersen, a junior at REV, into the techniques needed to beekeep and the skills required to take care of beehives.
1. How long have you been beekeeping?
- I have been beekeeping since I was in 7th grade/13 years old.
2. What do you enjoy about beekeeping?
- I enjoy seeing how amazing bees are in all that they do - their organization, building perfect hexagons, etc. I enjoy being in the outdoors and smelling the wax, nectar, etc., in the beehives.
3. What got you into beekeeping and how has it impacted your life?
-My uncle had a farm/ranch catalogue and they sold bees, beehives, and bee equipment in it. I had always been fascinated with how bees live in such huge numbers and are so organized. It has impacted my life by giving me a fun outlet/hobby to relieve tension that gets me outdoors into the fresh air!
4. What advice could you give to those who wanted to learn more about beekeeping and is it beneficial for more people in the world to start beekeeping?
-I would say read as much as you can about bees and beekeeping before you start. Most of what I know about bees and beekeeping came from reading books and beekeeping magazines. Yes, the more people start beekeeping, the healthier our planet will be. There are things killing off large numbers of bees these days. The more educated beekeepers there are who know how to keep colonies of bees alive/protected from the many things that harm them, the more bees there will be, and the more secure our food-supply will be!
1. What motivated you to start beekeeping?
- To be honest it was really a spontaneous decision. I had always been the kid that played with bees, and I like to think beekeeping is an extension of that. Once I got the idea in my head I just ran with it and the next thing I know I'm spending all my free time watching beekeeping videos on YouTube. Mr. Celano was also a gigantic push, without him I would of had no way in knowing where to start.
2. Have you learned any valuable traits or skills because of beekeeping?
-Patience is a big one. The whole hobby consists of waiting and letting things happen at their own pace. You have to be very smooth and slow with all your movements, as to not disturb or hurt any bees. This makes the weekly check-ups a lengthy process, but also really relaxing if you are patient. In addition, you have to let the bees do their work, and can't expect honey ready for extraction the first time you check the hive
3. How much time have you spent on beekeeping?
- I've been beekeeping since the start of the school year, 2-3 hours each weekend. I believe I have over 30 hours inside the suit, but that’s not counting all the research and preparation.
4. How long do you plan to continue beekeeping in the future?
- Beekeeping is definitely going to be a life hobby of mine! It’s got so much knowledge to give that I doubt I'll ever get bored of it. Currently, I'm looking to expand my hive count. This spring I'm setting a goal for myself to have at least 3 hives, either from catching swarms or buying colonies online!