Melanie K. Kirby, Apiculturist and Queen Honeybee Breeder – Biographies – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Melanie K. Kirby, Apiculturist and Queen Honeybee Breeder

Name: Melanie M. Kirby

Occupation: Professional Apiculturist- Queen Honey Bee Breeder, Consilience Researcher, Sustainable Beekeeping Educator, Writer

Place of Residence: New Mexico

Background: Melanie was born and raised in New Mexico of Pueblo Native American roots. She graduated from St. John’s College (Great Books) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a degree in Advanced Liberal Arts, Philosophy and Science.

Melanie accidentally became a beekeeper by assignment, after enlisting as a U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in South America. She became smitten with the bees and began pursuing a career in apiculture, working for several commercial operations in Hawaii, Florida, and Michigan. She established her own small-scale, treatment free queen breeding farm in the southern Rocky Mountains in 2005.

She considers herself to be a seed saver — with the bees as the seeds — by finding and sharing quality stock lines with beekeepers around the nation and globe. Melanie serves as an international, sustainable beekeeping consultant and has had the blessed opportunities to learn from bees and their keepers in Mexico, Paraguay, Canada, Jamaica, Ukraine, France, Morocco, and around the USA. She continues to be humbled by working and learning form such marvelous creatures — sharing that for her, “the mystery is the allure.”

In her spare time, Melanie makes honey wine and exquisite medicinal hive products and beeswax arts. She is working on several books, a technical field manual for breeding survivor honeybees and one for UNM Press titled Nectar Nomads in the Land of Enchantment, while also squeezing in a little free time for spending with her children and enjoying the glorious outdoors.

Melanie helped to establish several regional educational and breeding cooperatives, the Four Directions Broadcast Farm Radio program, and apitherapy (hive medicine) pursuits. She continues to learn from Mother Nature and Father Time and recognizes the profound interconnectedness.

Current Projects: Melanie is currently consulting in Hawaii and conducting an Herbs4Bees investigation of Monarda fistulosa (oregano de la sierra) for pollinator and human health.

Connect with Melanie:

Zia Queen Bees

Survivor Queen Bees