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Something new is buzzing at Sustainable Renton


Sustainable Renton was recently connected with local beekeeper, Gene GreccoStoliesSimile’, who was looking for a place to keep his hive. We jumped at the opportunity to have him keep a hive at our new office location in the Renton Highlands, thanks to the Renton Housing Authority. Our new office space comes with a nice yard that we are currently working on turning into a giving garden for the neighborhood.

We got a chance to ask Gene a few questions and his answers follow:

1. How long have you been beekeeping? Answer: I believe 7 1/2 years; Bellevue 1 year 1998, Everett 4 years1999-2002, and Renton 2 years 2010-11.

2. How long have you been a Renton resident?

Answer: Seven Years

3. What about beekeeping do you love the most?

Answer: There is not one simple answer for my complete fascination with honey bees. I personally like the fact that the honey bees are consider important archetypes symbols for self-reliance and personal industry. My involvement in beekeeping was a gradual thing.

My introduction to real beekeeping took place in the spring of 1976. I was a senior year of high school. For speech class, my final speech project was a presentation on Beekeeping.

I had gotten the idea from a conversation I had with a local I knew more personally because they were members of a local Mormon church I attended. I interviewed him and other local beekeepers who kept bees as a hobby or commercially. By interviewing both type of beekeepers I got perspective about what beekeeping was all about. My speech was held outside.

I demonstrated, “How to’s” like “smoke” the bees. Even though the hive equipment I brought for the presentation had no live insect, I wanted to impart a feeling of authenticity and show by example what was involved in lighting up the smoker and then demonstrating it use. It made the speech more interesting. That was

I had gotten stung a number of times while researching my speech and my interest to keep bees then waned till 1998. I was living in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area with my family . While exploring a property, I came across abandoned bee equipment. I contacted the realtor who in turned contacted the owner because I wanted to know if I could have the equipment. I was living on two acres of land, with a well and septic system and my desire for self sufficiency was enlarged by my nostalgic notion of becoming a beekeeper. The bee stings of the years before, resulting from my speech research had faded long ago. I was older and more mature and in North Carolina beekeepers, are more highly regarded.

4. What do you hope to gain from this experience?

Answer: Several things:

     A. Joy; a little bit of happiness.

     B. To see an old apiary inspiration of mine {Which I called the “The Renton Beekeeping Experience Project”}, 2010, be resurrected

     C. If my health permits, maybe I do some presentations on beekeeping. D. Honey and wax

5. What is your hope for the community with this experience?

Answer: That is kind of still to be explored as a topic. I think it would be cool if my apiary could become a  formal learning lab for the citizens of Renton. If there is a need and I can help, I would be happy to do what I can  community.

6. Also, are you interested in teaching a beekeeping workshop for Sustainable Renton?

Answer: Yes! I think I need to learn more about what Sustainable Renton is all about first.

6a. Have you done something like this before? Answer: Yes. I was I was a member of the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association for 5 years.

                -President for one year

                -Trustee three years.

                -Apiary manager for about 8 month


We are delighted to have Gene join forces with us. Our office is located at 1067 Harrington Ave NE Renton, 98056 Feel free to stop by and gander at the giving garden progress as well as the newly established beehive.


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