About Karen
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Karen Thurlow-Kimball’s love for the outdoors, and particularly for all types of “bugs,” began at a very early age. She

helped an elderly lady who had 100 hives and could not keep up with the work when her husband passed away.  The lady was unable to pay Karen for her assistance but Karen was able to acquire some bee equipment from her.  Karen caught a swarm of bees in the late 1970‘s and learned more about bees through a class with the Essex County Cooperative Extension Service in Massachusetts.

Karen manages over fifty hives at various farms and properties in Cumberland County.  She is a member of the Maine State Beekeepers Association, the Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts Bee Keeper Associations, the Cumberland County Beekeepers Association, and the American Apitherapy Association.  She plans on attending a week-long “Bees and Beyond” conference of the Eastern Apicultural Society in Burlington, Vermont, from August 13-17, 2012.

When Stan Brown was in his eighties and his son, Robert, had passed away,  he needed an extra hand around the shop and with the hives.  This was when Karen Thurlow-Kimball came into the picture.  Stan and Karen have formed a great working partnership.  She has been invaluable in creating and maintaining a website for Brown’s Bee Farm and for expanding their marketing and advertising.  Her Brown’s Bee Farm Facebook page is well-received.  At the top of the page there is a statement that says: “Beekeeping supplies for a fee - questions answered for free!”

Karen took a great deal of time and effort

when creating the Brown’s Bee Farm website to include many educational

tutorials with photos.  Visitors to the Brown’s Bee Farm website can learn about how to make wedge frames, insert the crimp wire foundation, put together a telescoping cover, assemble a solid bottom board, and make a simple candy board.

Karen also shared directions on the website about using Apiguard, ApiLife Var, Fumagilin B, and Amino-B Booster and Honey-B-Healthy.  She discusses problems with robbing, a Varroa reproductions guideline, and powdered sugar sampling to monitor Varroa mite populations.

There are two videos on the Brown’s Bees Farm website about European and American Foulbrood in honey bee colonies.  Karen also recommends bee-related books, magazines, videos, DVDs, and novels on the website.

In addition to sharing a great deal of knowledge on bees that Karen has acquired she is extremely generous in posting links to countless bee-related resources.

In the earlier days, Stan removed the hives each fall that he had placed on various farms and transported them to other locations.  The hives are quite heavy and the labor involved in moving them is arduous.  Moving hives can also cause stress to the bees.

Karen has worked out arrangements with all the farms to leave the hives in place and it has proven to be a good symbiotic arrangement as she can harvest the honey from these hives and the farmers can have their crops pollinated.

Karen is very interested in herbal medicines and has read extensively on all matters relating to bees.  She has led workshops on bees and participated in Maine Garden Day.  When people have questions about bees they refer to Stan or Karen for the answers.  They are “side-liners” - the category of beekeepers raising more than fifty hives.

Karen’s son, Damon, shares his mother’s interest in bees and helps outs with the bees two days a week when needed.  Libby Adams, the daughter-in-law of Stan and the husband of his late son,  Robert, also donates her time and efforts volunteering in the shop at the Brown’s Bee Farm.

Karen is of Micmac descent and has studied traditional plant medicine of the Wabanaki people.  In addition to teaching and leading field walks, she sells tinctures and quill and seed bead earrings.  She worked as a professional dog handler and groomer and was a certified TTouch Practitioner for twenty years.  She was a certified veterinarian technician at the Essex Agriculture Institute and instructed the students on the health care of livestock.

It is not surprising to see how and why Karen and Stan were able to become such successful business partners.  They each have many interests and life experiences to bring to Brown’s Bee Farm.  How fortunate it is for everyone that they are so willing to share their knowledge with others.

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