Hilary Kearney is the perfect beekeeper for the age of Instagram.
San Diego-based Hilary Kearney is the founder of Beekeeping Like A Girl and Girl Next Door Honey. Beekeeping Like A Girl is a primer for beginner beekeepers with posts on topics like How to Keep Bees Calm and How to Lure a Swarm. Girl Next Door Honey offers in-person and online classes in beekeeping and sells charming bee-related merchandise like floral beekeeper suits, message t’s, honey from her hives and educational board games for kids. Both businesses encourage new beekeepers and educate the public about our special little friends.
Kearney has been a beekeeper since 2010, and she manages close to 80 colonies. Both of her blogs are “dedicated to fun, accessible learning for new and experienced beekeepers” and serve as how-to guides for natural, treatment-free beekeeping. It’s a worthy business attracting a new generation of young beekeepers who want to help out the planet’s most important pollinator. Bees are a key factor in the pollination of 90% of the world’s major crops, and the continuing decline in bee populations due to colony collapse disorder (ably assisted by horror twins pesticides and climate change) means future catastrophe for our food supply.
At a time when we should all be jumping on the beewagon, Kearney’s an Instagram-worthy role model with over 52k followers. And while beekeeping has been the traditional domain of older men, her efforts to encourage a younger tribe of beekeepers appears to be working. According to a recent Vogue interview, she’s “…starting to see a lot of women hobbyists in my classes now and I like to think there is a shift starting in terms of gender.”
2018 saw the inaugural World Bee Day on May 20th. Let’s hope for some positive stories and more Hilary Kearney-types in 2019.