Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 153 – Joy & Eric McEwen, Authors, “Raising Resilient Bees”
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 153 - Joy & Eric McEwen, Authors, "Raising Resilient Bees"

Professional bee keepers Joy and Eric McEwen discuss the natural bee-keeping methods and principles that they practice at their Diggin’ Livin’ Farm and Apiary in Oregon, and that they share in their new book Raising Resilient Bees: Heritage Techniques to Mitigate Mites, Preserve Locally Adapted Genetics, and Grow Your Apiary (published by Chelsea Green Publishing). With deep expertise and an extraordinary capacity to “listen” to their natural ecosystemic surroundings, the couple discusses how their naturally managed honeybees were instrumental in the restoration of their homestead, which is now flourishing on previously degraded land. From “bee magic” to the role of honeybees in ancient Egyptian and Celtic cultures, and from advanced scientific understanding to inspired and attuned nature-collaboration, Joy and Eric bring a unique and deeply informed perspective to beekeeping and educating aspiring beekeepers.

About Raising Resilient Bees

The book is a clearly and cogently written resource with beautiful photos throughout. Part chronicle of their bee-keeping and land stewardship journey and part “how-to” for aspiring and seasoned beekeepers alike, Raising Resilient Bees is a must-have for land-stewards, regeneration practitioners, and beekeepers of all levels of experience. With decades of research and practice informing its pages, the book presents a wide array of essential information, some rather nuanced and intriguing, such as why certain types of wood (cedars) are better suited to providing natural insulation and water repellent properties to the honeybee hives, and how honeybees help to accelerate and amplify the climate-stabilizing carbon sequestration properties of regenerative agricultural systems and land stewardship practices.  

Exclusive for the Y on Earth Community Podcast Audience

Get a 35% discount on your copy of Raising Resilient Bees from Chelsea Green Publishing using the code: YOE35 at chelseagreen.com.

About Joy McEwen

Joy Catherine LeBlang McEwen manages Diggin’ Livin’ Farm & Apiaries, a homestead, organic farm, and commercial beekeeping operation. She holds two bachelor of science degrees, as well as a master of science in environmental science from Oregon State University. When she isn’t tending hives or farming, she works as an apitherapist with a practice in southern Oregon and makes a line of jun beverages called Honey Bee Brews. Joy is a committee member on the USDA Farm Service Agency board for Josephine and Jackson Counties, Oregon, and she serves as a board member on the Illinois Valley Watershed Council, as well as a board member for the American Apitherapy Society.

About Eric McEwen

Eric Muench McEwen heads the beekeeping opertion for Diggin’ Livin’ Farm & Apiaries. He holds a bachelor of science degree in botany and plant pathology from Oregon State University. He has spent the last 20 years experimenting with the development of organic management practices while tending approximately 700 honey bee colonies. A former mentor for the Oregon State University Master Beekeeper Program, Eric has served as the Southern Oregon Representative on the Oregon State Beekeepers Association administrative board. He is a member of the Adaptive Bee Breeders Alliance, a SARE-funded consortium of honey bee professionals and academics collaborating on stock improvement focused breeding efforts. He is the originator and manufacturer of Natural Nest beehives, an improved style of 8-frame Langstroth equipment for organic beekeeping. Eric is also a trained botanist and naturalist who loves the wild side of the great outdoors.

About Chelsea Green Publishing

Founded in 1984, Chelsea Green Publishing is recognized as a leading publisher of books on the politics and practice of ecologically based living, publishing authors who bring in-depth, practical knowledge to life, and give readers hands-on information related to organic and regenerative farming and gardening, ecology and the environment, healthy food, local economies and resilient communities, and integrative health and wellness. An employee-owned company, Chelsea Green publishes authors that empower and inspire individuals to reduce their ecological impact and to participate in the restoration of healthy local communities, bioregional ecosystems, and a diversity of cultures. Chelsea Green promotes better understanding of natural systems as a global-commons and to empower people to participate in restoring those commons, to serve as its effective stewards, and to help mitigate worldwide social and environmental disruptions.

Chelsea Green Publishing is a Partner/Sponsor of the Y on Earth Community Podcast and offers our audience a special 35% discount on books and audiobooks with the code: YOE35. Go to yonearth.org/partners-supporters for more information and to get your discount.

Resources & Related Episodes


Facebook: DigginLivin

Instagram: digginlivinbees

Chesleagreen.com (use code: YOE35 for an exclusive 35% discount!)

Ep 146 – Matthew Derr, Executive Director, Chelsea Green Foundation

Ep 144 – Vicki Hird, Author, Rebugging the Planet (published by Chelsea Green Publishing)

Ep 142 – Maria Rodale, Author, Love, Nature, Magic (published by Chelsea Green Publishing)

Ep 126 – David George Haskell, Author, Sounds Wild and Broken

Ep 102 – Julie Morris and Louise Chawla, People & Pollinators Action Network

Ep 029 – Courtney Cosgriff, Founder, Honeybee Herbals

Ep 028 – Scott Black, Executive Director, Xerces Society

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