Nina Tverskikh of Nina’s Bees shares the buzz on being an apiarist in this Q&A with the Co-op.
Q: What got you into beekeeping?
Nina: A few years back my life took an unexpected turn after listening to an intriguing podcast that revealed the secret life of bees. On that same day, I made the decision to give these clever buzzing creatures a sanctuary in my own backyard, and my apiary has been growing ever since. To date, my little helpers and I have rescued countless wild swarms and given them a gift in the form of a second chance in the Blue Mountains.
Q: How did you learn to use honey and beeswax?
Nina: My grandmother (babushka) grew up in an orthodox family of Old Believers, living in the wilderness of the taiga (boreal forest) in far eastern Russia. All of her family had to rely on natural medicine in their everyday lives. All through her life babushka Sasha would collect and use herbs, make tinctures and salves to treat literally every ailment. I learnt my basics from her.
Q: What products do you make?
Nina: I make all-natural, botanical balms and soaps made with bee products from my apiary. I also make beeswax food wraps. All products are hand made with organic and/or cold-pressed oils, essential oils and are packaged in recyclable containers.
Q: What is the best part about being an apiarist?
Nina: Learning new things about bees every time I open a hive. Working with bees and observing their environment made me a better gardener and passionate advocate for chemical-free living.