We just returned from our trip to Sevierville, Tennessee (and boy are our WINGS tired!!!!) after speaking at the Hive Life 2024 conference. What an amazing three days we had speaking with other like minded beekeepers and farmers!! Swazey Farms was able to purchase some much needed equipment for the upcoming season and try out some really cool new gadgets entering the Beekeeping world.
A huge part of Swazeys involvement at this year's conference was educating young future beekeepers. Leading up to the conference, children applied for sponsorship to the event and those selected received specialized classes as well as behind the scenes access to some very fascinating speakers. Lectures included, "Common mistakes for new beekeepers," "Culinary applications of Honey," and "Keeping Bees in an Urban Environment." Of course, there was SOME fun that included an ice cream social and an interactive game called THIS IS OUR HIVE, developed by Swazey Farms. During the game, children work as a colony of bees to complete goals and take on a variety of roles within their hive.
Swazey Farms owners Josue Feliciano and Randy Pearce were asked to take the stage to open Day 3 of the conference. During the talk, they spoke about the importance of approaching beekeeping with positivity, creating partnerships, and preparing for the future of beekeeping. The audience feedback was overwhelmingly positive and everyone in attendance left with an official Swazey Farms challenge coin!!
The conference wrapped up with a panel discussion where Randy and Josue got to take center stage alongside legendary bootstrap farmer, Joel Saladin. Here, conference attendees were able to ask questions about scaling up your beekeeping business and how to stay competitive in todays market. There were a ton of great questions asked and connections formed during this discussion and we thank everyone who attended and contributed.
Of course, our greatest memory of this year's conference occurred OUTSIDE of the convention center. Swazey Farms is a family farm, first and foremost. Our parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and close friends all contribute to our success on a daily basis. That is why it was so important that they attend with us. And so we travelled to Tennessee with seventeen of our closest family and friends. They made the drive to support the Swazey Mission and show everyone what family farming really looks like. We are eternally grateful for each of them and for their willingness to endure this journey with us--WE ARE TRULY BLESSED!
Stay tuned for more great stories that arose out of Hive Life 2024--this is the beginning of something very BIG for Swazey Farms.