Farm And Hive Buzzes With Peace & Energy

Beekeeper Susie Goodspeed from the Idaho-based Farm And Hive hobby farm tells us about the enriching nature of living close to bees.

by Phillip Mlynar
PHOTO: Farm and Hive

“There’s an energy and peace to keeping bees,” says Susie Goodspeed, a self-proclaimed bee nerd farmer who presides over the Farm And Hive hobby farm in Idaho. “It’s the same as working with beeswax: It’s calming, it’s grounding, it’s happy.”

Along with keeping bees for their pollinator benefits, Goodspeed has also expanded Farm And Hive to offer a range of bee-based products. These include beeswax candles and festive ornaments plus propolis tinctures.

Taking time out from overseeing the hives, Goodspeed spoke to us about the emotional benefit of keeping bees and how they communicate among themselves. We also got into how burning beeswax candles can help to clean your air.

Getting Into Bees


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Goodspeed’s first steps toward becoming a beekeeper were inspired by a mix of factors.

“I’d worked at a little garden center farm, and I’d done a lot with the produce and the farm and the garden. I started to realize that in my own garden I needed more pollinators,” recalls Goodspeed. “So I looked into that and beekeeping was a natural choice. Next, I found a couple of great mentors and jumped into beekeeping with both feet.”

How Many Hives?


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“Beekeeping is never a business. It’s always a hobby!” says Goodspeed. “There’s no such thing as success or being able to know it all and there’s no such thing as enough hives.

“Sometimes people ask me, ‘How many hives do you save?’ And I usually say, ‘Too many and never enough.’ But there’s so much you can get from bees and not just honey-wise. It’s emotional and you get so much peace. There’s such an amount of education on life that they give you.”

Learning from Bee Behavior


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When it comes to observing bee behavior, Goodspeed says that you can learn a lot from their social structure and ability to communicate. “The way they work together, whether it’s fending off a foe or telling each other where to go for pollen, they talk a lot,” she explains.

The Properties of Beeswax


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At Farm And Hive, Goodspeed offers a range of beeswax products that have proved popular due to the natural substance’s inherent properties.

“The light that comes off beeswax is the closest to natural sunlight,” says Goodspeed. “When you burn beeswax, there’s a chemical reaction where it releases negative ions that attach to dust and allergens and toxins in your air. So when you burn beeswax it helps to clean your air.”

Bee-Based Gratitude


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Goodspeed keeps the Farm And Hive bees purposely close to the house—and enjoys the benefits of living in such proximity to the hives. “When you’re out in the garden, it used to be fearful, sort of like, oh, no, there’s a bee!” But now it’s like, “Hi, friend!” Bees just teach you to be more aware and to have a lot more gratitude.”

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