Beekeeping is “fairly enjoyable,” in line with 13-year-old Keith Griffith III of Louisville.
He loves watching his honey bees at work, significantly once they’re defending their hives.
“I like once we get the honey and we harvest it, is my favourite half about doing beekeeping,” he stated. “It’s fairly satisfying watching the honey drip down.”
The younger beekeeper has constructed a correct bee farm, with the required paperwork and 9 hives. It’s an endeavor that lately earned him the first-place Bayer Blue Ribbon Beekeeper Award, a nationwide accolade acknowledging the subsequent technology of beekeepers.
He was in disbelief when he realized he had obtained that high honor and a $3,000 money prize.
“I used to be excited trigger we obtained a name saying that you just guys gained the award and I used to be like, ‘No means,’” Griffith stated.
He’s constructed a whole enterprise round beekeeping known as Beeing2together, with a web based store that sells every kind of branded merch, in addition to his honey — his honey may also be discovered at Rainbow Blossom’s St. Matthews location — and a e book, which he self-published in 2019. It’s titled “Honey Bees & Beekeeping: A Psychological Well being Miracle.”
“Sure, I wrote a e book,” he stated. “It has some elements of psychological well being and what you want for beekeeping and how you can begin a beehive. It offers you suggestions and tips.”
These psychological well being elements got here from a private place for Griffith. He obtained into beekeeping to distract himself from “private issues.”
“I wanted one thing to take my thoughts off of what was occurring,” Griffith stated.
“He had went by a trauma time,” Griffith’s mom, Stephanie Dukes stated.
She and Griffith had all the time been shut; they did practically all the pieces collectively.
Then, in late 2017, Dukes was incarcerated. She stated she was in jail for a yr and 22 days. Griffith’s father was already in jail.
Dukes doesn’t “care to inform my story.” She doesn’t need her son “to relive that, as a result of it took rather a lot out of him.”
“It’s all the time been like mother and son, and it was taken away from him,” Dukes stated. “After I was gone, he type of diminished along with his persona, despair and stuff like that.”
Griffith’s grades declined throughout his mom’s absence. It was a troublesome time for each of them. But it surely was additionally when Griffith obtained into beekeeping, due to his uncle, Shawn Griffith, who had change into a hobbyist gardener and beekeeper.
His uncle mainly threw a beekeeping swimsuit on the child sooner or later and requested him to assist with the hives.
“I believed it was a little bit bit loopy,” Dukes stated when she realized that her son, then age 11, was stepping into beekeeping. “However my son, he’s all the time been into nature… Since when he was youthful, he needs to go exterior and choose up rocks, look underneath a rock, see what’s there. He’s all the time been very interested in something exterior.”
Dukes stated her son did a complete 180.
“It’s [an] wonderful transformation. He took this detrimental and turned it right into a optimistic.”
And as he realized extra about beekeeping, Keith Griffith III noticed parallels to his personal life.
“Diligent statement of the honey bees started to open (Keith’s) eyes to the queen bee’s position and significance to her hive simply as his mom and grandmothers are the muse and key to (Keith’s) family’s survival,” in line with the about part of his 2019 e book.
Employee bees additionally helped him see the significance of group “and unity each inside and outdoors of the house by demonstrating love, power and safety.”
He nonetheless cares for that first hive, which is in his grandmother’s yard, Dukes stated.
“He calls them the OG’s as a result of they provide him a time,” she stated. “They’re very cussed.”
Griffith’s dedication to beekeeping, and his fledgling beekeeping enterprise, has gotten the eye of nationwide media lately, akin to Good Morning America.
It’s additionally gotten the eye of different younger folks.
Nearly on a regular basis, they hear from an adolescent by his Instagram, saying that his story is motivating them to begin their very own enterprise or pursue a ardour, Dukes stated.
“I feel that’s only a neat means of him inspiring different kids… that it’s okay to step exterior the field and simply do one thing that you just like to do,” Dukes stated.
That features his good friend John Rice, who obtained into beekeeping due to Griffith and enjoys the adrenaline rush of getting actual near the honey bees.
“I like how I’m nervous after I’m going out to see how the bees transfer and the way they make the honey.”
Pal Derrick Rice, one other latest beekeeping convert who has additionally helped Griffith promote his honey on the Farmers Market at Opportunity Community Garden within the Russell neighborhood, stated he likes to speak concerning the deserves and thrills of beekeeping along with his mates in school.
“I like seeing how the bees work and the way they put together for the winter, and the way the honey is made, so I can inform different folks.”
Griffith is at work on a second e book, one that may focus extra on psychological well being.
“I simply wish to discuss extra how I handled it… go extra intimately,” he stated.
When it comes to his enterprise, he needs to change into the go-to for folks wanting native honey, and develop it to 1,200 hives, or actually as many as he can get.
Now, he’ll be capable to focus extra on saving as much as construct that.
Griffith had been placing a fair proportion of his enterprise income apart to pay for his dream college, Trinity Excessive Faculty. Then, this fall, an nameless donor, identified solely as Mrs. W, lately despatched a examine to cowl his tuition to the non-public Louisville college.