Baehive teaches women to keep bees in southern Phoenix

Every other Sunday, a group of women wearing black T-shirts that read ‘Baehive Sisterhood’ don white bee suits behind the Orchard Learning Community Center in south Phoenix.

The school teachers, doulas, home school moms and urban farmers never expected to inspect 12 beehives at 8:30am on a hot weekend morning with sweat dripping from their faces. But what started as a project to educate children about agriculture and has grown into a sisterhood thanks to Chanika Forté, who made it her mission to empower, support and educate women of color beekeeping.

Since graduating from Forté’s honeybee course, bees have become a part of their lives. Some women have failed and some have successfully tried to catch a swarm of bees, others now have beehives in their backyards, but all women have learned the benefits of being surrounded by hives.

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