Catharine Reeves is doing her part to save the honeybee.
The 49-year-old lawyer from Bethesda, Md., is a newly minted backyard beekeeper. She tends two hives and thousands of bees, which might produce just a jar or two of honey by mid-summer, if she’s lucky.
Plentiful honey was the motivation. Ms. Reeves says she added bees to her garden after seeing news reports on disappearing colonies. “I’m not a tree hugger or anything,” she says. “We have a vegetable garden, and it all seemed to go together.”
Ms. Reeves is part of a fast-growing trend, a result of consumers increased concern about the environment and where their food comes from. These backyard beekeepers, or apiarists, are swarming in to help fill a void left by more commercial beekeepers, many of whom have exited the industry in recent decades.