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Charlie and Martha Deshler saw a flyer at a post office announcing a beekeepers meeting that week and we attended. The first night we were fascinated to learn so much and how fun beekeeping is and also that the State of Tennessee, Department of Agriculture was offerin free start up hives to be given to one beekeeper at each formalized organization meeting that month. We weren’t the recipients; however, we were happy to know that #1 beekeepers are important and #2 that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture was willing to help the pollination in the state of Tennessee by offering grants that help defer the cost of beekeeping materials.

That was in 2009. We started with 12 hives, the next year split hives and purchased additional bees and queens and we ended up with 30 hives. Last year we had 65 hives and this year we split more hives and we currently have 85 hives. We love the honey bees, we are fascinated by the life of the bee and the way God created their habits. Bees have been active and discussed several times in the Bible – John the Baptist eating locust and honey, the scriptures that state “sweeter than honey”… so we became quite interested in the queen, the drones, worker bees, nursery bees and guards work. An ancient discovery of honey in a pyramid proves to me their resilience.

Charlie took the beekeeper course, attended several classes that the Wilson County Bee Keepers Association provided and later became certified as a hive inspector. He devoured books, articles and anything he could get his hands on about bees while Martha built bee boxes in the winter months. We learned there are various types of queens: Italian, German, etc. and with each queen they have a style all their own. Each year we’ve increased the hives and learned to keep them healthy. We only lose one hive a year and during drought, disease, and other enemies to the hives our bees remain strong and healthy.

We joined the Wilson County Beekeepers Association and became state certified and registered our bees. We also are members of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association and are on the swarm list. Several counties have beekeeper’s meetings and the folks who attend are kind, interesting, knowledgeable and friendly. Once “stung” you’re hooked… so to speak. The knowledge about bees is inexhaustible. It’s a “hobby” or a “business” which will keep you interested for years and years. We met a wonderful beekeeper named Kevin Reickert who has been a bee keeper for 16 years and his vast understanding and love for the bees is fascinating to us and he has been a big help. One thing about beekeepers, they are always willing to share their knowledge with others interested in beekeeping. He is the president of the beekeepers association in Sumner County.

The second year of beekeeping we purchased equipment to build a honey extracting room and yet keep the honey “raw”. Our honey is white clover and “raw” which means the good, healthy enzymes remain in tack and it has many health benefits, internally and externally.

As the few years have passed we find more people interested in beekeeping. It’s for the hobbyist and experts, a person can have 3 hives or 500 hives plus, the choice is yours. We find working 100 hives or less is a good balance because it only takes two people who work these bees and we are able to keep up with them and still find time for other things in life. We’ve learned the “attitude of the hives” as some hives are “hot” and they will sting quite easily and others are very mellow. We’ve learned what causes the bees to swarm, to sting and not to sting, we’ve seen the beauty of beekeeping and, in fact, we know a man who likes to place a camera in the hive and watches their activity. There are various books on all topics of beekeeping and bees. It is fascinating to build hive boxes, work the bees and enjoy nature. We get satisfaction in helping the pollination process and the honey is delicious!

We love to teach others about beekeeping so we offer field trips to our farm located in Castalian Springs and teach children about beekeeping as well because young or old a person can become a beekeeper. It’s something you can do in your spare time and receive the blessing of honey for your efforts, plus the pollination of plants is a great benefit and helping the environment. The bees teach us so much about working industriously and we are fascinated in how they communicate, organize and reproduce! Anyone at any age can become a beekeeper!

Please visit us soon. We are located at 1201 Old Hopewell Road, Castalian Springs, Tennessee you can call (615) 451-7618 or email us at cad1201@comcast.net

Bee Happy Today. . .

The Deshler’s