- Tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you do, what led you to do what you're currently doing?
- How long have you been keeping bees? Why did you start?
- Do you have a garden accompanying your bees? What kinds of flowers are growing?
- What steps should people take to conserve bees? What about the government?
- What are your opinions on native bees? Have you considered building a small nestbox for them?
- What are your opinions on urban beekeeping? What are the pros and cons to doing it in an urban/sub-urban area?
- What kind of advice would you give to someone interested in bee conservation? Or just conservation in general?
- Kaat's an activist and is part of the Transition Wayland group. She does a lot of local activism as well as activism in terms of putting pressure on legislation. Recent examples are the Pipeline XL and Governer Patrick's climate legacy. In February, "Friends of the Earth" which Kaat was a part of put pressure on local Home Depot and Lowes stores to stop selling bee-killing pesticides and to raise awareness. For this movement Kaat went to the following areas: Natick, Framingham, and Waltham.
In terms of beekeeping, Kaat is a part of a small beekeeping club (Called Beelieve) in which she started. Currently it has about 20 members. She strongly emphasizes raising awareness in the community and that by doing so it empowers people to believe that "Yes, I can do this as well."
- Kaat has been keeping bees for five years now. It started off as a hobby and as a result of her activism. There was lack of pollinators in the area and she wanted to do something about it. A local orchardist in the area reported that only one of the branches from his apple trees have had fruit, meaning only one bee managed to pass by and pollinate the flowers on that branch.
- Kaat has annuals, perennials, and biannuals in her garden. Most are edible while the non-edibles are for bees to feed on for pollen and nectar. Kaat did make note that if you are to start beekeeping, it is best to let your neighbors know and be okay with it.
- Kaat pointed out that there are no more wild honeybees in our region, only feral ones. The ones that are in the wild right now are also having trouble adapting to our extreme climates. For Kaat, she lost 3 hives over the winter. (Her bees are from Georgia, and even down there, there has been issues of keeping bees alive due to climate changes)
- Bumblebees are currently facing their ups and downs with population, but are just as important to have awareness of. Kaat said that the bumblebees in her garden have no problem getting along with her honeybees. She put it as, "You don't have to eradicate the buffalo in order for the cows to graze."
- Kaat's a sub-urban beekeeper, but believes that urban beekeeping is extremely important. For urban beekeeping, one needs to be aware of how much pollination is needed, as there aren't as many plants/flowers in the cities as there are in the suburbs. Educating those nearby is also very important, as there is a lot of risk involved in beekeeping. Not for the beekeeper and the bees but also the people nearby.
Kaat also mentioned the rise of urban beekeeping in NYC. Some restaurants have been catching onto this and boasting about using their own honey in their dishes.