The podcast for the latest beekeeping news, information and entertainment for today's beekeeper. Hosts Jeff Ott and Kim Flottum bring you interviews and commentary helping you become a more informed and knowledgeable beekeeper.
Cohost, Producer, Head Bee Wrangler
Kim Flottum attended the University Of Wisconsin, Madison, receiving a BS in Horticulture Production. While an undergrad he worked for the UW Entomology Department, researching insect control in green houses and gardens, and writing Extension Bulletins about those pests.
After graduation, he worked for the USDA Honey Bee Research Lab in Madison for four years, studying crop pollination, pesticide problems with honey bees and using honey plants in the home landscape. When the lab closed, he moved to Connecticut where he was a farm manager, producing row crop vegetables and managing an apple orchard. While there he joined the CT Beekeepers Association, became President and then CT Director to EAS. John Root was also on the EAS Board at the time, and after a year offered the job of Publications Manager and Editor of Gleanings In Bee Culture, A.I. Root’s monthly beekeeping magazine.
During his tenure at A. I. Root, he created a new magazine, BEEKeeping, Your First Three Years, and also published several books, by authors such as Clarence Collison, Mark Winston, Roger Morse, Bill Mares, Paul Jackson, Richard Taylor, Dewey Caron and Steve Tabor, along with editing three editions of The ABC and XYZ Of Bee Culture, with Roger Morse, H. Shiminuki, and Keith Delaplane. He designed the first of Root’s beekeeping web pages, and started the daily email blast CATCH THE BUZZ.
Working with The Ohio State Beekeepers Association he became President, then EAS Director. After two stints as Director, he was elected Chairman Of The Board, and was the annual President twice for meetings in Ohio, with Jim Tew as Program Chair, and in New York, with Bob Brachman. Kim also worked with the local Medina County Beekeepers Association, serving as President for several years, and teaching their Beginner’s Class. Traveling extensively, He has given lectures in 48 states and six countries.
During his 33 years as Bee Culture Editor, he produced five books of his own, including four editions of The Backyard Beekeeper, plus In Business With Bees, The Honey Handbook, First Time Beekeeping, and with Marina Marchese, The Honey Connoisseur, and to be released in 2021, Common Sense Natural Beekeeping, with Stephanie Bruneau.
He officially retired in 2019, but still consults occasionally with the new Editor, and with the Publisher of his other books. The podcasts are beginning to take more time but he still keeps a few bees, gardens, has chickens and ducks and gets to be home a lot more than he used to.
Cohost, Producer, Editor & Audio Engineer... Chief Cook, Bottle Washer, Errand Boy
While in 6th grade, Jeff’s interest in all things flying and crawling turned to honeybees. He enlisted his father’s help to buy an A.I. Root observation hive. Jeff’s honeybees resided on his second-floor bedroom desk in Lakewood, Ohio. Jeff spent much of that boyhood summer enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the observation hive. After buying his own home Hinckley, Ohio as an adult, Jeff picked up on his interest in beekeeping. He purchased three colonies from a retiring beekeeper and his interest continued to grow.
Jeff grew his operation from a hobbyist into a small sideliner business selling honey and beeswax and providing local pollination services. Jeff joined the Medina County Beekeepers Association and the Ohio State Beekeeper’s Association so he could continue to learn from others in the business. Jeff was president of the Medina organization and was a director of the Ohio association. Jeff also created Medina County’s first newsletter: The Bee Herder.
While active with the Ohio beekeepers’ organizations, Jeff met the editor of Bee Culture magazine, Kim Flottum. Kim recruited Jeff and Kim created a regular column called the Weekender. Jeff’s column provided practical advice for hobbyist beekeepers. Kim invited Jeff to attend the annual American Beekeeping Federation conference in Kansas City. While there, Kim introduced Jeff to Sherry Jennings, an executive with the National Honey Board in Longmont, Colorado. Sherry and Jeff are married.
Jeff relocated to Colorado to be with Sherry. He reestablished his beekeeping operation there and kept 40 hives. In Colorado, Jeff continued writing for Bee Culture on a variety of topics. One of these was a series on the Africanized honeybees that required travel to McAllen, Texas and into Mexico. Sherry started a small consulting business based on her work with the National Honey Board. At the same time, Jeff was self-employed as an expert in information technology security. When one of Sherry’s clients suggested they take a look at Olympia, Washington, they did and that’s where they now live.
Keeping honeybees in Washington state is challenging, but interesting. Jeff is still learning. He completed studies to earn Master Beekeeping Certificates from the University of Montana and the Washington State Beekeepers Association. On a trip back to Ohio, Jeff met up with Kim Flottum and conceived the idea of a beekeeping podcast. Jeff produces and is co-host with Kim on the Beekeeping Today Podcast. The podcast attracts thousands of listeners worldwide every week. As a result of their successful podcast, Jeff and Kim started a production company called Growing Planet Media. Stay tuned for fun and interesting podcasts on bees and much, much more.
Guest Cohost, Editor - 2 Million Blossoms
Dr. Kirsten S. Traynor is a honey bee biologist, who investigates how pesticides and varroa impact social behavior in honey bees. In January 2020 she launched a new quarterly magazine 2 Million Blossoms: protect our pollinators. The 100+ page print magazine is designed to inspire, inform and entertain. How did she end up so wild about pollinators? In 2006-2007, Kirsten received a German Chancellor Fellowship. During that time she drove over 50,000 miles throughout Western Europe to study the differences between European & American beekeeping. Fascinated with the social complexity of a honey bee hive, she returned to school and earned her PhD in biology with Dr. Robert Page. While a grad student, she spent almost a year in Avignon, France in the lab of Dr. Yves Le Conte as a Fulbright Fellow.
She’s the former editor of Bee World and American Bee Journal, the author of Two Million Blossoms: Discovering the Medicinal Benefits of Honey and Simple, Smart Beekeeping. She previously managed a small apiary producing top quality nucs and Maryland reared queens, but has taken a break from running her own bees to focus on her new magazine.