#NextGenBeekeeper is a series of profiles and features on the lives of the next generation of beekeepers emerging in the field. Keep an eye out on our social media for the #NextGenBeekeeper tag.
Name: Stacey Vazquez
From: New York
How long have you been at The Best Bees Company? Since August 2020
Position/ title: Beekeeper
How long have you been beekeeping? About 6 years!
Best Bees is your side gig. Tell us about your other beekeeping endeavors! Island Bee Project is my main passion. My business partner and I have been doing public and private programming, centered around urban beekeeping, for a few years now. We’ve been based on Governors Island for about 5 years.
What’s different about keeping bees with the Island Bee Project and Best Bees? Moving locations for sure. It’s a whole different level of organization. Making sure you have everything you need for a day of different locations is very different from having all your supplies on hand.
What’s your favorite part about working at Best Bees? Learning from other beekeepers! We all have so much to learn from one another. I think it’s really important to keep an open mind about the way others maintain beehives.
What do you think is unique about being an urban beekeeper vs a beekeeper in a rural area? I think locations are pretty challenging in NYC. Finding a place that will allow you to keep bees and making sure the forage supports what they will need is an issue unique to urban environments for sure.
Why do you think it is important to keep bees or do the work you’re doing? I think bees are the most important animals in our ecosystem. If there’s something wrong with bee populations, there’s probably something off-balance.
What is your favorite cool bee fact? That they need to sleep for seven hours a night. Bees deprived of sleep don’t perform as well as well rested ones. Just like us!
Honesty time: are you afraid of bees? I’m respectful of them. It’s important to remember while working with bees that they are wired to protect the colony first and foremost. Working around that fact to keep them happy and calm is a must.
Would you rather be a queen bee or a worker bee? I think people get caught up in the whole “queen bee” title. She never gets to leave the hive really. I’d be a worker for sure. They get to change jobs as they age and are literally the life blood on the hive.
What are you up to when you’re not beekeeping? I love exercising (so I can lift big full deeps of honey) and going to outdoor roller disco parties.
Is there anything that you’ve been working on or that you’re excited about that you’d like to promote? Island Bee Project is looking for a new location for next season! If anyone knows a cemetery that would love to have us, send them our way! We’re looking forward to providing the same fun educational programming and keeping our mission alive. Send us a message on our Instagram!