We started working with bees in the fall of 2013. Although we had no beekeeping experience, we wanted to do something good for the environment. We plunged full steam ahead and purchased a small hobby farm, beekeeping supplies, and expanded our gardening endeavors. Working closely with nature has had a profound impact on us. We are seeing the Earth with a new set of eyes.
Our planet is facing a pretty long list of challenges including pollution, global warming, water contamination, drought and of course, the staggering loss of our world’s pollinators. It is with great love and intent to make the world a better place that we have formed the non-profit organization “Aunt Bea’s Apiary” to serve southeast Nebraska.
We have created an educational center in Auburn, Nebraska for hosting field trips, community groups, and families who wish to learn more about how they can help the environment. Through these endeavors, we hope people will come to love and appreciate these fascinating insects as much as we do. Bees truly are an integral part of our food system and the survival of the human population.
Board of Directors
Nikki was born and raised in Auburn, NE. She graduated from Auburn High School in 1998 and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Peru State College in 2004. Between the years of 2004 and 2012 she worked in the education field in various positions including preschool teacher and K-12 guidance counselor. Nikki is a certified yoga instructor and owner of Earth & Owl Yoga in Auburn which is located in the same building as the Aunt Bea’s Apiary learning center. She is the president, treasurer, and co-founder of Aunt Bea’s Apiary, Inc. an organization she named after her great aunt Bea who was an inspirational figure in her childhood.
Danny was born and raised in Brownville, NE. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1996 and earned his Bachelor of Science Degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Peru State College in 2002. Danny went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Forensic Science with an emphasis in Behavioral Science from Wesleyan University in 2007. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Education. Danny worked for the Nebraska Department of Corrections for 10+ years. In 2013, he accepted a full time Criminal Justice teaching position at Peru State College. He is the head beekeeper for Aunt Bea’s Apiary and serves as the organization’s vice president.
Shirley taught in the Auburn Public Schools’ elementary system for twenty-nine years and is now retired. She grew up with bees as there was an active apiary on the farm between DuBois and Pawnee City where she was raised. As a grandmother of five, she believes strongly in Danny and Nikki’s initiatives which will provide a better environment for our young people. Shirley supports Aunt Bea’s Apiary in its endeavors to protect our population’s future. She believes strongly in educating everyone about the importance of pollinators in our world and what we can do to assist them.
Our Name Sake
Berniece Waniska, otherwise lovingly known by her family as Aunt Bea, was nurturing, outspoken, fun loving and had the sharpest wit to go along with her years of wisdom. It is for these reasons, among many more, that we chose to name our Apiary after her.