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New beekeeper club all the buzz in Butte

Posted at 11:18 AM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 13:18:30-05

BUTTE — Have you heard the buzz?

A new beekeeping club has started in Butte for anyone wanting to start their beekeeping journey.

Jennifer McCloskey started the club because she wanted to start her own hive for her garden but didn’t know how.

"Bees are such a great compliment to a beautiful garden and starting out as a new beekeeper is very daunting," said McCloskey.

McCloskey teamed up with Scott Steinfeldt, a master beekeeper, to help educate and connect first-time beekeepers with seasoned beekeepers in the area.

"It is really important to work with local knowledge," said McCloskey.

Steinfeldt — who has worked with bees for many years — started beekeeping as a young boy because of his father.

"Our church, when I was a boy, had decided that they wanted to get into beekeeping and processing honey and so my father and the rest of my brothers helped build a bee-honey processing operation and I never kind of lost that interest in ’em," said Steinfeldt.

McCloskey says that honey bees are gentle creatures that are, unfortunately, on the decline. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honey bees contribute more than $15 billion a year to US agriculture. But the number of honey bee hives in this country decreased from 6 million in the 1940s to about 2.5 million today.

"Being able to come together as a community around the bees is such an amazing experience as well," said McCloskey.

The club meets every second Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Butte-Silver Bow Library.