About Our Beekeeper: Susan Marie
In 2003, when re-locating to the Upstate after a long absence, Susan and her family set out to revitalize an overgrown 175 acre farm, Horse Creek Ranch. This ranch became home to many farm animals and projects through the years, however, the honey bees were a surprise gift from a friend who declared we “must have bees with all this land.” He was right!
After a rough start the first couple of years, Susan took on the beekeeping responsibilities and 2 hives became 4, and 4 became 10, and 10 became 15, and…you get the idea! Well, that was over 17 years ago … and the kids have graduated from college beginning adventures of their own. The time was right for a change, as long as it included Susan Marie’s Bees! In 2016, Susan and her husband moved to Oconee County on the shores of Lake Keowee and the bee operation took on the new name Susan Marie’s Bees.
As a retired teacher, Susan recognized the need for quality beekeeping education. This passion resulted in a 2017 appointment as the Director of the South Carolina Master Beekeeping Program. Susan now teaches and organizes numerous beekeeping classes each year and serves as a local bee expert with the Oconee Clemson Extension office and the Oconee Beekeepers Association. Susan mentors area beekeepers and organizes workshops to aid in the continuing education of Upstate beekeepers. In addition, she helps to maintain the Keowee Elementary School observation hive and provides informative “Bee Talks” for schools and community events. Keowee Bee was created as a teaching tool to promote, fund, and expand honey bee education by providing quality commonly used household items to inform the general public about the plight of the honey bee. In early 2021, Susan & her husband moved the main bee operation to Hodges, SC where Susan continues to teach and mentor beekeepers in a beautiful country setting.
When life gets crazy, you may find Susan Marie in her honey house testing a new infused honey or beeswax product or most likely in one of her bee yards – where time stands still – quietly working with her amazing honey bees!
2019 South Carolina
Beekeeper of the Year
Honey Bee Educator/Speaker
SC Master Beekeeping Program,