Randy Dean has been a beekeeper for over 25 years and is a Wyoming native. As a young man Randy work on Union Pacific railroad, he retired from the carpenters union in 2006. After years of beekeeping and noticing the effects of Colony collapse disorder and rapid changes in climate he knew that something needed to be done.
Q: What made you decide to start bee keeping?
My friends grandfather was a beekeeper and had left a lot of old equipment behind. My friend convince me to get a couple packages of bee's. The bees scared me at first I like the feeling. While watching and working with them, I found them very interesting and challenge to work with. It took years to figure them out.
Q: Why did you start this nonprofit?
At that time I didn't know anyone else was doing it and it seem like something that probably needed to be done. What I always thought was that everybody ships their bees to California for the almonds. Years back when the mites hit, I lost most of my hives. When the colony collapse disorder started, then I thought, what's going to happen next? Will most of the bees in the U.S. be wiped out? So I decided I'd better learn how to keep them here. Wyoming is at a high elevation and there is not a lot of agriculture, there is very little spraying of pesticides, one of our only obstacles is the cold weather. Somebody should keep some honeybees safe. I thought it would be a worthwhile cause.
Q: How are you as a beekeeper contributing to the health of the honey bees?
Basically what I'm trying to accomplish, let bees turn back into being bees, instead of manipulating the size of their foundation. Build hives more tree like.
Q: What do you think the honeybees future looks like?
I think that unless something is done, I think there isn't a future for them. What's happening now, the big producers are able to stay ahead of the pesticides. Until there is some kind of control of the pesticides in this country, we're just out running the inevitable. That's why Wyoming is such a good place because we don't have the big agriculture. There is no constant spaying. Wyoming is an ideal place to save honeybees.
Randy in action
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