Although apiaries throughout the state of Virginia have suffered significant losses — often averaging close to 40% for the last 10 years and nearly 60% during the winter of 2017-18 — the pampered bees at Monticello continue to thrive. In their decades of existence, the bee yards have regularly sustained either no or very minimal annual losses. Vigilant attention, innovative methodology and organic management are the keys to keeping our bees healthy, happy and homesteading.
In an engaging and interactive learning session, Monticello’s Beekeeper Paul Legrand and Associate Beekeeper Leslie Bouterie will share best practices and key secrets for apiary success. The sound guidance provided in this working class will help both novice and experienced beekeepers maintain healthy, robust hives year-round.
Leslie Bouterie joined the Monticello beekeeping team in 2015. After moving to Charlottesville from Washington, DC where she worked in museum education and development, Bouterie soon became involved with Monticello’s apiaries. Her keen interest in honeybees prompted research, continuing education, and enthusiastic participation in apiary projects and improvements. Despite the need to carry an Epipen, she is passionate about honeybees and is dedicated to fostering the Monticello Bee Project and complementary Community Outreach endeavors.
Paul Legrand has been a beekeeper for more than 28 years. When relocating to Charlottesville, he continued his passion for honeybees by starting and maintaining an apiary at Monticello in the spring of 2010. That apiary is located just down the hill from Mr. Jefferson’s home. In the spring of 2012, Legrand began a second apiary at Tufton Farm, one of Jefferson’s original quarter farms, which is now home to The Center for Historic Plants. In 2014, he added a third apiary at James Monroe’s Highland, and in 2018, Legrand helped re-introduce an apiary at New Roots Farm, operated by the International Rescue Committee.
Legrand is committed to helping the apiaries provide valuable pollination services for the gardens of these historic properties and surrounding areas.