Volunteer Feature: Wendy Shipsides

“I had a lifelong curiosity with bees,” says Wendy Shipsides, a volunteer with the HBRC since 2014. After taking the Introductory Beekeeping course with the University of Guelph, she soon became interested and began volunteering only a few short weeks later. Since she started, Wendy has been a regular volunteer with the centre every Thursday. 

Her curiosity began as a child, watching a family friend work as a beekeeper. At an early age, her grandfather introduced her to comb honey, buckwheat, and creamed honey. In 2010, she was able to purchase enough land to start her own hives. “I realized that I now had the space to keep my own bees,” says Wendy. 

When asked about her favourite part of keeping bees, Wendy states, “my favourite thing about having my own bees is sitting in the bee yard – just listening to them and watching them work. It’s very peaceful and Zen-like.” In addition to this, Wendy enjoys continuous learning, meeting new people, and getting involved in new experiences, such as trips to Thorah and Georgina Islands and helping with research projects. 

“I would highly recommend taking an introductory beekeeping course […] and then offer to volunteer wherever you can,” says Wendy. As she puts it, beekeeping is physically demanding, with most of the work being outside, and rewarding. “U of G Honey Bee Research Centre has been a great opportunity for me to learn from the best.”

Thank you, Wendy, for all your hard work and dedication!