MILWAUKEE — Other than swatting them away or running when they fly near, I never thought much about bees before meeting Charlie Koenen. But since today is World Bee Day, I thought I’d find out what the buzz was all about.
Charlie, or CharBee, the “BeeVangelists” as he is more commonly known, is the Executive Director of BeeVangelists, a non-profit organization whose mission is to spread the gospel of abundance according to bees, and to educate us about the plight of bees and the need to restore thriving hive communities in urban environments.
So, why are bees so important? They play an essential role in filtering our air; bees are also vital for pollinating the food we need to survive.
Charlie’s hives are located on school campuses, church rooftops, retirement homes, golf courses, ecology centers, and many backyards throughout the Milwaukee area. He says that “Bees are a stigmatized population, but by exercising polite Bee-haviour we can get close enough to understand the nature of bees.”
And, what is “polite Bee-haviour"? Charlie says, “Bee like a tree. Bees are curious and won't sting if they are not threatened.”