Leslie Crowder, Gentle Beekeeping

Leslie Crowder, BeekeepingLes Crowder has lovingly been called “the Bee Whisperer” by his students and fans all over the world. He is author of Topbar Beekeeping and has taught natural, gentle beekeeping for 30 years.  His goal is teaching people how to love and respect honeybees.  Students come away from his classes with a strong ethical commitment to being bee care-takers.

Because of the pressures of industrial agriculture, safe corridors for pollinators are continuously under threat from pesticides, industrial waste products and genetically modified organisms.  Les believes that beekeepers must be first and foremost, caretakers, rather than exploiters. He says, “we can develop and maintain a synergistic relationship with this wonderful insect, helping to protect and nurture its important role in our agricultural system, while benefiting both ourselves and the world around us.”

About the Topbar hive model, Les explains, “I am passionate about the fact that many bees are abused by the hive design, and practices of most beekeepers. I want people to know that there are ways to keep bees that can possibly benefit the bees or at least not hurt them.”

Les has taught students worldwide, but has a passion for teaching in lower income communities.  The Pollination Project grant will support his work in communities that can’t otherwise afford gentle beekeeping classes, including in small towns and on Reservations near his home in New Mexico.