Wes Walter

Bees living in high style!
Wes 11
Wes Walter https://www.facebook.com/pages/Custom-Built-Beehives/511278722290475

GASAB is pleased to introduce Wes Walter as our featured master craftsman/artisan of the month. We were quite taken with his incredible beehives from the first time we laid eyes on them. Wes’s story is one of grief over the loss of a child and the process of healing. Bees have played a part in comforting and inspiring Wes! Please read his story and enjoy his incredible creations!

In the fall of 2012 my brother-in-law contacted me about bringing honey bees to the mountains of North Carolina. A friend and he had gone in together and started keeping them a few years back. I really did not have a problem with it. He assured me that they would not be a problem to be around.

As we moved into spring 2013, our middle of three sons was involved in an accident. We lost our son on March 23, 2013. We never got to say goodbye. He had served 4 years in the USMC. He was twenty three years young.

As May 2013 approached, our friend contacted me to see if we were still interested in the honeybees. At this point in my life I had nothing to lose. He brought them up from down state and I helped him unload two hives before going to work. As days went by, I found myself being attracted to these honey bees. So calm, always busy, not bothering anyone, unless of course you bothered them. I found these bees to be the comfort I needed to deal with my life at this time . Mid summer I asked Rex about beekeeping. He told me if I would buy the equipment he would set me up. He came to check on his bees sometime in July and he made me a split.

I started doing some research on these interesting insects. My world was opened to a whole new realm of thinking. Everything happens for a reason in a hive. The more I read about bees, the more it reflected on what we were going through. I would sit for long periods of time and just watch.

I have many hobbies. I enjoy smoking pork in our modest brick smoke, photography and custom woodworking. As I sat and watched our bees, I realized I could build a hive, but it had to be something different. Living in the mountains provided the inspiration. The first thing that came to mind was a log cabin. I researched how to build them and began putting something together. As time passed, I found that my time spent in my workshop was exactly what I needed to keep my mind off things I had no control over.

I overwintered two hives, in what has been the coldest winter we have had in a while. I bought a package at the end of March this year and have made a split off one of my overwintered hives. I now have 4 hives that can not wait for it to get warmer. The new package is doing wonderfully after adding a few frames of eggs and brood. The split has a queen and should be starting to lay. I am excited to watch these two hives grow.

I have set up a modest page on Facebook because I wanted to share my bee experience as I see it from day to day. I’m not smart enough to set up a blog, so Facebook is my outlet. GASAB shared a post wondering if anyone could build a mason hive and I commented that I could and left my link to my page. They were kind enough to share my page. I am still overwhelmed that people from all walks of life from around the world like my modest hives.

In late April I was asked if I would share my story of how I got into bees and building hives. I don’t mind sharing my story. Sure my eyes are full of tears, but like our bees, we never know how long we will be here. These Girls are still helping me deal with what life has taken away. I like honey, but the bees are what matters to me. I feel I have taken on a new family member (or several thousand…:)

I am working on prices for the hives. As soon as I figure out a way to make a website, I’ll be posting price list and bee ware. For now you can find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Custom-Built-Beehives/511278722290475.”

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Rocky Balboa”

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