Why I’m a beekeeper?
Initially it was because my husband Tom, who suffered from stage IV colon cancer, wanted me to take care of his bees until he recovered. Unfortunately, most people don’t recover from stage IV colon cancer.
I bee-grudgingly tended his handful of hives, hoping to keep them alive just one day longer than he was—and then I’d let those *(&#! stinging insects just take care of themselves.
Tom kept beating the predictions; I kept working his bees. Their mystery, organization and fascination finally pulled me; I was fully addicted within a few months.
While Tom was never able to work his bees again, his “from the kitchen” beekeeping coaching and our related discussions were the catalyst in promoting one of the sweetest times in our marriage—our last year together.
I now keep bees for the enjoyment of it, and because our planet so desperately needs them.
I was blessed to find another life partner equally fascinated with this winged insect. Husband Marshall and I worked our bees together and often, and attended and presented at bee conferences around the United States. Unfortunately, Marshall passed away unexpectedly the Spring of 2021.
I am now, again, a solo beekeeper. I’m mentoring a handful of folks, and am primary instructor for Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s beekeeping classes. I’m also past President of the Kalamazoo Bee Club and currently serving on the board, and an active member of the Michigan Beekeepers’ Association, serving on the communications committee.
All profits from my honey, book sales and speaking engagements go to my late husbands’ favorite charities: Meals on Wheels, and Loaves & Fishes.
My greatest body of work is my three children—Jessica, Benjamin, and ReBecca (spouses Jake and Kristen). They are all delightful, responsible adults and I’m very proud of their efforts to make this world a better place. My second marriage brought two more blessings, stepsons Zac (and wife Sara) and Lucas (and husband Nic).
So far, of the children and their spouses—only ReBecca is a beekeeper. (We remain hopeful though.) Lucas, who like his father innately connects with bees and someday? I’m also blessed with six very young grandchildren, but Grammy has little bee suits ready for when they get a bit bigger.
My professional body of work resolved around the company I founded, Prima Communications, Inc. We served clients around the world since 1991, building bridges between the people with the information and the people who need it. As my age (and number of hives) increased, I closed Prima a few years ago to focus on bees and family.
For over two decades I fed a creative side of my soul with a weekly, syndicated humor column, Hubbard’s Cupboard. I’ve continued writing in a humorous vein with a column—Dronings from a Queen Bee—once carried in an internationally distributed e-newsletter, along with writings for Bee Culture and various bee club websites and newsletters.
Charlotte, a beekeeper since 2008, now manages about a dozen colonies. She and her late husband Marshall routinely ran 30 – 50 colonies, with excellent overwintering survival. Michigan’s 2018 Beekeeper of the Year, Charlotte is the lead instructor for KVCC’s beekeeping program, a board member for the Kalamazoo Bee Club, and author of numerous articles and books on beekeeping, including a chapter in Honey Bee Medicine, a veterinary textbook. All profits from her writing and charity go to feeding the homeless in SW Michigan. Learn more at www.hubbardhive.com.
Where I bee
I manage a dozen colonies in Kalamazoo County.
I enjoy traveling to learn and speak about bees, so please don’t hesitate to contact me no matter your geographic location. I may be able to work out something that fits all budget constraints, and always like to connect via online presentations.