Beewatch was born in 2017 in Vancouver, (beautiful) British Columbia, Canada
Partnership between two happy friends, Magali and Norm, with many supporters
Help the honey bees and build a strong connection between Humans and Nature
Meet The Bosses
From as far as I can remember my childhood, I have always loved honey bees. I used to play in meadows and catch bees with my butterfly net, fascinated by those now captive fuzzy (and very angry) insects in my net and pretending they were my friends before letting them go quickly while running away to avoid being stung. That curiosity for living things lead me to study Biology, and after earning a PhD in Grenoble, France, I flew for the first time to Canada, Montreal, to keep focusing on biology at UdeM. Four years after, and now being the happy mother of two kids, I was ready for another adventure. Moving away from academic science, I worked for two years for an organic and local food truck company in Los Angeles where I learned the fun and the challenges of running a small business, and where I learned how doing something that anchors human needs (eating, in this case) in a harmonious circle (organic and local food) can make you feel balanced and give you a sense of purpose. Los Angeles was also where I went back for the first time to my fuzzy friends… Volunteering at my kids’ school, I quickly became involved in the gardening, the microscopy and the beekeeping enrichment programs of their school. When we moved to Vancouver, Canada, I was ready to become a dedicated beekeeper myself. When Norm and I built our first hive together, I knew we were on to something great. Since then I have found myself in this very special place where I am never sure if I lead or follow this project, because of its high inherent energy that tends to make things gravitate around it. Feeling blessed 🙂
When I was a barefoot boy, I was often made painfully aware of the plentitude of honey bees in the clovered lawns of rural Ohio. My grandfather kept about 10 hives of bees and captured swarms when people called on him. But that’s as much as I knew about honey bees until I saw a glass hive at a park in Richmond, B.C. My young son was very interested, and I used my knowledge in woodworking to build one for our own home. I also started keeping a few outdoor hives. Years after, a new neighbor noticed our urban chickens, which she herself had had in L.A.. But our discussion quickly moved from the coop to the apiary when she saw the indoor hive… Her fascination motivated her to ask me to help her build one for her home, which I did. Now she thinks everyone should have one, and I agree. Hence, Beewatch.I studied civil engineering at Ohio State University (B.C.E.) and the University of Michigan (M.Sc. in Civil Engineering and M.Sc. in Water Resources Science). I have been a researcher in wastewater treatment at U. of M., a wastewater regulator at Washington Department of Ecology and (the most fun) a builder of beautiful log houses. I’m still building beautiful wood houses, but for bees.
Around Vancouver, Canada, it is impossible to resist the beauty of Nature. It surrounds you, immerses you, inspires you and gives you the drive to do something meaningful. For the city, for the environment, for our planet. For us.
We are very close friends, but not all friends decide to open a business together. We did when it all came as something very obvious… Protecting the environment is for both of us a priority. We are both passionate about honey bees and willing to share this passion with others. And we have very different backgrounds and skills that, when put together, make very favorable foundations for building a successful project.
We designed together our first observation hive, with the desire to make it smart, elegant, and inspiring. After putting our first colony in, we sat next to the hive, silent. Watching the bees fly in and out, bringing back pollen, trying to identify which flower they where pollinating by looking at the color of the pollen pressed in the basket on their legs. Watching the queen lay eggs, being fed by her entourage, and the newborns hatch. Witnessing the bees waggle dance, communicating to tell each other secrets about those places where they found patches of flowers. Inhaling the scent of wax and honey, feeling the warmth made by the bees. Feeling so close to those beautiful little creatures, to nature, in just this short amount of time we had been watching… We knew we had to share. Beewatch was born.
Beewatch is dedicated to helping the bees in the most ethical way. Honey bees are facing tremendous challenges and most of them have been brought to the bees by us, human beings. By providing a home for local and non-treated colonies, by encouraging natural behaviours, by reasonably harvesting their honey, we want to help the honey bees thrive. By educating people, mostly kids, we want to protect the honey bees in the long run. By helping build bonds with Nature, we want to help the bees and ourselves, because nothing is as valuable as a strong connection with something meaningful. Something irreplaceable. Something we all belong to, deeply, essentially. Nature.
Magali Chemali & Norm Schenck
Please be aware that our services (installation, maintenance) are provided in the Vancouver area only for now. If you live further, you can still buy a Beewatch hive that we will ship to you with instructions on how to install and maintain it.