Family: Husband Freddy and children, Mikahla and Allison
Hometown: Marshfield, Mo.
In Town: Michelle Brinkley will start her 13th year as a teacher this fall. For five years she taught at Houston, Mo. She is preparing to start her eighth year at the Lebanon Technology and Career Center, where she teaches Family and Consumer Science, with a focus on culinary arts.
“I love what I do,” Michelle said.
In the Country: Michelle and her husband Freddy own 80 acres near Marshfield, Mo., in Webster County. They raise cattle and Michelle began beekeeping over a year ago.
“My grandpa had bees off and on when I was growing up. My daughters and husband got me a beginner bee kit a year ago for Christmas. That’s how I got started,” she explained. “I don’t know what’s not fascinating about them. They live in hives side by side and go to the right hive every time,” she said.
Michelle said it is very interesting to see how they care for each other.
Michelle has three active hives on their farm.
“I have had a few people ask me about keeping hives on their farms and working them. But I don’t want so many that it becomes work,” she stated.
She “robs” the bees once to twice a year. In her opinion, her most important pieces of equipment for beekeeping are the smoker and the hive tool. The hive tool is “a little bitty crowbar. It allows you to pry the boxes and frames apart, and allows you to maneuver the frames when you need to,” Michelle explained.
Learning beekeeping requires study. Michelle read a lot. “I have a friend whose dad was a beekeeper for years. He has given lots of advice and helped me,” she said.
Beekeeping is also something she discusses in her classes. “We focus a lot on farm to table, with the area we live in,” she explained.