My name is Rebecca Krowelski, owner and operator of Prairie Sweetheart Honey. As you may have already guessed, I have a passion for bees.
My interest first surfaced when I was doing research for an article about the health benefits of pollen back in 2004. The more I learned about bees, the more fascinated I became.
My mom always found a way to support everything I did and this time it was by giving me the book, The Secret Life of Bees. Sadly, this kind gesture took on new meaning when she suddenly passed away later that month while saving someone's life during a trip to Guatemala. It was the last thing she gave me.
Although I dropped that project because of the tragic circumstances, I carried the book close to my heart and never lost my interest in the wonderful world of bees.
Education and Mentors
Eleven years and two children later, I registered for the "Beekeeping for the Hobbyist" course at the University of Manitoba. The course was filled with great information and my passion grew, but I didn’t feel ready to manage my own hives afterwards.
That spring of 2015, I became a member of the Red River Apiarists’ Association and connected with the best mentor on the planet, Ted Scheuneman.
I thank my lucky stars that he took me under his wing to pass along his knowledge of bees. I agree 100% with his philosophy, “You have to think like a bee. It is our job as beekeepers to figure out what the bees intend to do and then help them get it done.”
His teachings are far more detailed, but that is his basic rule of thumb. I consider him a brilliant bee engineer and it has been a privilege and honour to learn from someone so wise and kind who genuinely cares about the life of each and every bee.
I bought my first two nucs (five frame hives) of Carniolan bees from Ted and started managing Evangeline and Ramona’s hives the spring of 2016. During the season, I dealt with a split (resulting in Adeline’s hive), laying workers and many other challenges that Ted helped me find my way through. I ended the season with 25 lbs of honey and went into winter with three hives!
I continued to learn from Ted until he passed away November 2019. He is still with me in the bee yard, I often hear his voice when I am mulling over options I am considering for managing my hives.
My bee seasons continue to be filled with learning opportunities, frustrations, joy and growth. I relate to Albert Einstein’s words, “The more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know!”
I try not to be too hard on myself though, Ted always says, “It’s ok to make mistakes, just don’t make the same mistake twice. That’s how we learn.”
Over the years, I have developed a passion for bees. I am thrilled with the rapid growth and success of this small farming venture and am excited for my next steps. I look forward to the challenges and learning experiences yet to come.
All in all, there is nothing more satisfying than watching my bees on a warm summer morning with a coffee in hand and my kids by my side.
I often reflect on that book my mom gave me, so full of hints for life and love, and somehow, through this all, she is part of my world of bees.