Peter Cowin aka “The Bee Whisperer”
I started keeping bees as an 11 year old, in Hopkinton Massachusetts, in the early 1970’s. I can still remember the anxiety as my bees arrived through the mail half dead and within hours my brother and I had managed to kill the queen as well! Fortunately, a local beekeeper took me under his wing and arrived a few days later with a newly captured swarm of bees. From then on, I was hooked.
I lived and worked in Britain through the latter 70’s, 80’s and 90’s where I became one of the world leaders in reproduction and mass culture of marine invertebrates. In 2003, I returned to my native New England to live in Hampden Maine. I was so fortunate to have moved to within a few miles of the man who would become my friend and mentor, Harold Swan, also known as the grandfather of Maine beekeeping. Not only did I learn much about bees and beekeeping from Harold, but he also got me into it as a business.
In the last decade I have grown my hobby into a full time occupation producing thousands of pounds of honey as well as selling bees and equipment. I have also been teaching beekeeping in Adult Ed classes all over the state of Maine and at my store and bee farm in Hampden. In that time, I have taught more than 3000 students.
With the Pandemic closing most in-person classes, I started a YouTube channel “Beekeeping with the Bee Whisperer”, as an alternative way to help prospective beekeepers.
Amy Nickerson, was one of my star students, and took over from me as President of Penobscot County Beekeepers Association. There we could see the difficulty of matching up new beekeepers with mentors, especially during a pandemic. We were both also dismayed at how confusing and sometimes discouraging it was getting accurate beekeeping information on-line in facebook groups, etc... BEEKEEPING 24/7 is our proposed solution to a great need for training, mentorship and an accessible and friendly beekeeping community in an on-line world.
Amy Nickerson aka “The Queen Bee”
A little about myself, I live in Bangor Maine and have been keeping bees for about 8 years now. I generally keep between 5 and 10 hives, some in the City, some in a more rural setting.
I am a 25-year veteran of Law Enforcement and currently serve as a Sergeant. I did not choose my nickname to be the Queen Bee but that is what my fellow Officers call me and it stuck! Due to the high stress nature of my job I really needed to find a hobby to help decompress. I’m not sure why I chose beekeeping as I was terrified of bees for most of my life! I saw a commercial by “The Bee Whisperer” and I thought I’d take a class to see what it was all about. I took Peter’s beginners class followed soon by the intermediate class and was hooked! I clearly remember being overwhelmed my first few years of beekeeping. I must have called Peter nearly every day for a year!
Peter and I recognized the need of mentoring for the new beekeeper which was why we decided to go into business together to help fill that need. Our goal is to support the new and intermediate beekeeper with mentoring, classes and a sense of community with our private Facebook group.
Peter and I each offer different levels of experience to BEEKEEPING 24/7. Peter has been keeping bees for decades and runs well over a hundred hives and I am more of a hobbyist beekeeper in a city setting. I also remember what it was like to be a new beekeeper and how much Peter’s mentorship helped me to become a more confident beekeeper. I am now the President of Penobscot County Beekeepers, I am on the State swarm response team and I remove colonies that have taken up residence in undesirable locations such as buildings, garages etc.
We are so glad you choose to join us at BEEKEEPING 24/7 and look forward to assisting you with whatever needs you may have on your beekeeping journey!