Bee Sweet to the Environment with Queen Bee Linda and Swarmin’ Norman of Crimson Creek Apiaries, a small business in Pennsylvania. Linda and Norman Lachimia didn’t set out to be bee keepers. They are carpenters by trade, and they own an apple orchard. Bees and apples are naturals together, and when they purchased a one room school house that had bees in the walls, history was made. They built hives for the bees. The bees did what comes naturally to bees, and pretty soon Linda and Norman were sharing bees with other people. Not only that, they started giving classes in bee keeping and they make and sell Langstroth bee hives. The Lachimia’s slogan is “Keeping Wild Girls in a Box,” which is, of course, a word play on the fact that all the workers and the queen bee are female. Norman get the “Swarmin’” part of his name because one of the things that Crimson Creek Apiary does is to capture swarms of bees and give them a home.
All of which is just incredibly awesome, but that is just the surface. First off, Langstroth hives were invented around 1852, and were the first type of open-top hive that made it easy to take honey out of the hives with minimal harm to the bees. The Lachimias have great respect for the bees. They allow them to multiply naturally, making new hives whenever they are needed. They also make sure to leave the bees enough of their own honey to make it through drought, low flower production and cold weather. In his Indiegogo Crowdfunding campaign, Norman comments that the planet needs more bees, so training more bee keepers is very much to the point. In order to make this happen, Norman and Linda purchased a warehouse so they could move their shop out of the old school house, and devote its space strictly to giving classes. They’ve also purchased added land so they could spread out the apiaries.
Crimson Creek Apiary’s sales is outgrowing the supply possible with their current bees. Gaining more places to set up hives and more people to tend them is important to Norman and Linda. Norman, in his blog on the Crimson Creek website, comments that strong bees are more likely to survive Pennsylvania’s winters and are less likely to develop mites and other problems. A commenter wrote in to say that he had been looking for a local honey to help with his allergies, and he was extremely impressed with the Crimson Creek goldenrod honey.
Queen Bee Linda and Swarmin’ Norman have worked hard to build their business – but there is just so much that two people can do. “We’ll get it done,” Norman says, “but it might take us 25 years. With the money from the crowdfunding campaign we could hire a carpenter or two to help with restoring the school house.” Rewards for contributing to the Crimson Creek Apiaries crowdfunding campaign include honey sticks, t-shirts, naming a queen bee, getting a hive dedicated to you, or even getting a trail at the apiary named after you – plus a chance to “Bee Sweet to the Environment” by encouraging bee production.