15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Billy and Martha.

Billy and Martha have been beekeeping as a couple since the year 1987. They both grew up in Pantego, North Carolina, and were high school sweethearts before they married. At their peak as life-long Beekeepers, they both worked and managed forty hives, and amazingly today that number has only shrunk to thirty-four. Billy still continues to package and sell large amounts of honey every year while Martha uses the wax to make all natural candles and ornaments. Additionally, Martha regularly teaches classes to various age groups about beekeeping and helps locals get started through mentorships working the beehives at her home. According to Billy, throughout the decades of beekeeping, they have encountered about every problem a beekeeper can possibly face. These problems include hungry black bears, the highly destructive Varroa Mite, and the devastating bee disease called American Foulbrood—which resulted in large losses of bees and equipment.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 03.2017
Date Uploaded: 04.2017
Photo Location: North Carolina, United States of America
Copyright: © Jefferson Lankford