Tom & Alise

United States > > > with Rob in United States

Rob is a passionate, highly knowledgeable beekeeper whose practice is always firmly grounded in what is best for the bees. He doesn’t waiver, he doesn’t capitulate to convenient practices - he just observes, listens to the bees and supports their journey in the most holistic way possible. His execution is as philosophical as it is practical and he beautifully weaves both threads through his teaching. 

Rob manages hives throughout Napa, Sonoma and the surrounding countryside. Our three days together were spent doing what a beekeeper does – checking on various hives, re-queening a queen-less colony, assessing disease and pests, removing wild hives where they are not wanted (in our case, removing a tree with a hive)– in short, responding to the issues as they arise. It’s a job that is always in flux, always unpredictable. It’s work, it’s dirty, it’s magical. We are grateful for the opportunity to have been by Rob’s side as the inevitable surprise as each day unfolded. Sometimes we watched in awe, but most times we rolled up our sleeves, or more accurately we rolled down our sleeves and got right in there with him as he went about tending to the bees. We learned to watch, to move slowly, to consciously consider the plight of a single bee, and the plight of all bees. 

As novice beekeepers living in a major metropolis, we were eager to take our understanding to the next level. We found that what we learned from Rob had layers of meaning, some we immediately understood and some that we know we will grow into as we become more conscious and responsible beekeepers. Rob’s goal for us was to give us confidence in our beekeeping – to trust our instincts, and most importantly to trust the bees. He certainly accomplished that, and so much more.