Kavanaugh benefits environment through beekeeping


Melissa Kavanaugh

One of Mrs. Kavanaugh’s, a math teacher at LPHS, hives. “I have two and a half acres, Kavanaugh said. “But in Colorado Springs there’s no limit. You can have them in a very small yard.”

Annie Elizandro, Ranger Review reporter

Mrs. Kavanaugh, a math teacher at Lewis-Palmer High School, has been a teacher for over ten years. In her free time, Kavanaugh is a beekeeper. She has been doing this for four years and she keeps five hives at a time. 

When Kavanaugh was younger she loved honeybees. In fact, she first got into the activity because of something as simple as her name. 

“My first name is Mellisa, and that actually means honeybee. So I’ve always been really interested in honeybees, I thought they were cool,” Kavanaugh said. 

When deciding how to take care of the bees, when a person first starts beekeeping, they have to decide if they will make their own hives or buy them. Beekeeping can be very expensive, but building your own hives can greatly reduce the cost. 

“If I was able to build my own hives, that would be a lot cheaper… it’s like upwards of 500 dollars for one hive to get started. Because you have to pull everything together,” Kavanaugh said, “If you can’t build it yourself you have to order all of the parts and everything. So it’s a pretty expensive hobby.”

There are many benefits to beekeeping. When you put the natural honey on a cut it can make it heal faster than just washing the cut. Not only does it help the earth, but bee stings can also help people with arthritis. 

“Honey is naturally antibacterial, so if you have a bad cut or something, you can actually use honey to make it heal faster. Also, there is sting therapy, where someone with arthritis, they’ll purposely sting themselves with the bees,” Kavanaugh said, “If I have an aching wrist or something and I get stung by a bee it does kind of relieve the pressure and the pain for a while.”

Some people say that beekeeping isn’t good for the environment, but any beekeeper would disagree. The activity benefits bees, people, plants, other insects, and animals. 

“Some people that would argue with me that I’m not helping the environment. That we need to leave bees alone and stop messing with them. Most beekeepers feel that by continuing to build up we bring in different types of bees,” Kavanaugh said, “We’re very careful here in Colorado. We start putting strong bees together, so we have stronger hives. Then the stronger hives can live longer and they can pollinate more things.”

Sadly, there are not as many bees as there should be. Honeybees used to be everywhere, but now it’s rare to come across a honey bee pollinating a flower. The amazing thing about beekeepers is that they are willing to take a lot of time to take care of bees. 

“When I was little, there were bees all over the place. You would step on a bee if you went out walking. In the grass, you stepped on a bee if you were barefoot,” Kavanaugh said, “Now if you see bees, generally, that means there is a beekeeper nearby. There’s not a lot, especially around here, there’s not a lot of wild hives. It’s our attempt to try to keep pollinators around.”