Last year, we told you the story of Craig MacKorkle, the man behind Liberty Bell Beekeepers. Recently, he announced his plans to enter into the beekeeping and bee removal business full-time in 2022!
For the last 3+ years, Craig has been learning the craft of beekeeping and growing his business. Through his YouTube channel, Liberty Bell Beekeepers Urban Beekeeping, he’s been taking all of us along for the ride! The Liberty Bell Beekeepers is a business he started to protect, learn about, and care for Philadelphia’s honeybee population during an era of pesticide and herbicide use that puts them in danger.
Through his website, Craig offers rescue and removal consultations for bees, wasps, and hornets. Due to the endangerment of pollinators, in many places it is illegal to exterminate honeybees, so a beekeeper is needed to get them out of people’s homes and businesses and into a more sustainable area. Many of Craig’s 50+ bee colonies come from his rescue services, for which he provides consultations before estimating a price based on his knowledge of bees and his experience with construction work.
While bees can be annoying or scary to some, they are generally not aggressive towards people that leave them alone and are in-fact very social! Research has shown that bees and wasps can even remember human faces and associate them with repeated friendly interactions. As a friend to the bees, Craig is an advocate for their protection and offers advice for how we humans can help save the pollinators responsible for so much of the food we eat.
Craig encourages those of us with outdoor space to plant wildflower gardens, either in the ground or in containers, that provide color for people and pollination opportunities for the bees! In addition, it’s recommended that we either stop using herbicides and pesticides completely, or switch to options that are more considerate to our outdoor friends. Many weeds, like dandelions, aren’t especially harmful to our own gardens and can have a positive impact for pollinators. In the war against pests like spotted lantern-flies, you’d be surprised how far a dish soap and water mixture can go!
For those interested in learning about and maybe even keeping bees, Craig suggests having a plan and seeking the advice of local mentors like himself. Beekeeping can be hard work, but by knowing the bees and planning for their care, it can be extremely rewarding. Speaking of rewards, Craig bottles and sells his own local honey! Contact him on Instagram or by phone at (215) 519-5369 to purchase, and remember to check out his YouTube channel for some super satisfying honeybee removal videos.
Written by Amarynth Ruch