Puyallup Speaker Spotlight: Christy Hemenway, Honeybee Expert

Reader Contribution by Erica Binns
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Get to know Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees.

What are you going to speak about at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR? When and where?

The name of the workshop is “How and Why To Keep Bees in Top Bar Hives“.  It’s designed to give basic information and answer questions for people who are considering keeping bees in this green and sustainable way.  The talk is Sunday afternoon at 3pm on the Grit Stage.  See you there!

What are you most looking forward to sharing with FAIR attendees?

The importance of natural beeswax honeycomb – made BY bees, FOR bees – to the bees!  Like we say – “It’s all about the Wax!”

What are you most looking forward to at the Fair?

Two things:  1)  I really want to meet Joel Salatin, because I think it really IS all about the pig-ness of the pig.  and 2) I want to meet all the MEN Fairgoers that come our booth to check out sustainable beekeeping in top bar hives.

Tell us about your background with your particular topic.

In search of the answer to “What did bees do before beekeepers?” I set out to learn about how bees did things before we corralled them into square boxes and began to manipulate them to do things that healthy bees do naturally, without any coaxing.  That quest led me to design the Gold Star top bar hive – and begin building a community of like-minded, green-focused “thinking beekeepers”.  So now we offer a really quality top bar hive, and it comes in three levels of “do-it-yourself-ishness” – all the way from DIY#1 – the construction plans for only $50 — to our easy-to-assemble Deluxe hive kit- the whole hive – complete in the box for less than $500.

Why should fairgoers attend your presentation?

We love meeting people who are thinking about becoming beekeepers and are happy to answer their questions, so our booth will be a weekend long, ongoing demonstration of top bar hive beekeeping – and the biggest, best-est reason is that we will be giving away the top bar hive that we bring to the MEN Fair!

What advice do you have for attendees?

Gold Star Honeybees has two pieces of advice for MEN Fairgoers:  1)  Love Your Mother and 2)  Come by Booth #615 and get registered to win a Gold Star Top Bar Hive.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one thing, what would you choose?

If I were stranded on a desert island and could have only one thing – I would have a colony of honeybees.  Because if that desert island could support a colony of honeybees, it would be because there was good forage nearby for them, and that would mean that there was good food for me! And… sweet honey to go with it. The nectar of the gods!

Thanks, Christy. We’ll see you at the FAIR!