Retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Todd Paul Cichonowicz started beekeeping in 2011 with one hive. Now, he has grown to more than four dozen hives across multiple properties. His hobby of keeping bees has helped him find peace in his retirement.
Video by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley Guire, DOD
You can see a bee hatching right there. Do you see it? I was in the Navy for twenty-four and a half years. After I retired in 2011, I took this noncredited two-month beekeeping course, and I guess you could say I got bit. I often say that you know you can identify how a colony of bees are before you even crack open a box, by just observing how the hive is acting from the outside. You can do the same with students, or a whole class when they come in the room in the morning. I remember days when I would, you know, walk into a shop and just be plumb mad, and everybody could see it, and you could just see the room change. I now see how important it is to not let yourself be projected on to your students or the bees. The bees don’t know any better. They don’t know what kind of mood I’m in. When I work in a very slow, methodical manner with the bees, I don’t get nearly as many bee kisses.