9-Year-Old Beekeeper From Eddington Featured In Down East Magazine
While some adults might shy away from raising colonies of bees, one kid from Penobscot county isn't scared at all.
Elizabeth Downs is a fourth-grader from Eddington who has found the unique hobby of beekeeping. And, we're not talking a few bee friends in the fields of Eddington. We're talking legit boxes and boxes of beehives, with around 180,000 bees altogether.
Elizabeth has spent a third of her life taking care of bees, since the age of six. And, it's the unusual hobby for a kid her age that captured the attention from this month's Down East Magazine.
The feature has some great photos of Elizabeth with her bees while decked-out in her beekeeper suit and tending to the hive boxes. Her interest peaked when a family friend's neighbor had some bees of their own.
The article also lets us in on the kind of yield the hives give. Yearly, Elizabeth's colonies create over 120 pounds of honey. Elizabeth sells her honey to friends and family to help maintain her hives as well as donate to charities.
Elizabeth was featured earlier this year giving her approval for an amendment that was being considered by the Maine Legislature.
Elizabeth is a part of the Penobscot County Beekeepers Association, which holds monthly meetings and works to educate fellow beekeepers and the community about their work and aspirations.
Maintaining a honey bee hive has a lot of responsibilities and oversight to adhere to with the State of Maine. In order to keep honeybees, you will need an apiary license and have inspections to ensure the bee colonies are healthy. Also, if you import your bees you need to submit a particular form along with a health certificate from where the bees were shipped from and pay a fee.
The State of Maine has over 350 Swarm Collectors throughout Maine. Check out more about keeping your own hive at Maine.gov.
As Elizabeth probably knows and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension educates us on, bees are a 'keystone organism' in any habitat and it's great to see the next generation becoming curious about this important species here in Maine to look after our habitat for generations to come.
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