Meet Dave: SEEDS’ keeper of the bees

Meet Dave: SEEDS’ keeper of the bees

Published Thursday, Aug 18, 2016

Some people avoid bees because they have an allergy; others avoid bees because they have apiphobia (a fear of bees). However, David Fruchtenicht is just the opposite – he has sought them out through  his passion for beekeeping. He comes from a long line of beekeepers. His father and his grandfather were both beekeepers. As a child in northern California, he grew up around bees with a sense of fascination and appreciation.

As an adult, David focused on home construction and renovations; however, keeping bees was something he continued to do as a side hobby until he retired. Once he moved to NC, he looked for ways to further his passion for keeping bees. SEEDS is just one of the places where he conducts his beekeeping.

Since becoming a beekeeper at SEEDS, David has seen the organization go through many changes. As someone who previously worked in construction, he enjoyed watching the new building’s construction at 706 Gilbert Street in Northeast Durham.  In January 2014, SEEDS moved into their new space.  This larger space allows SEEDS to have a greater impact on the community and to better fulfill their mission “to teach respect for life, for the earth and for each other through gardening and growing food.”

One of the programs SEEDS uses to connect with youth in the community is the Durham Inner-city Gardeners (DIG). Honey produced by David’s beehives at SEEDS is sold by DIG at the Farmers’ Market. David believes the interactions that take place as the DIG teams connect with the public at the farmers’ market helps to unite people from diverse backgrounds in Durham and also teaches the teens social skills.

When asked about other organizations in Durham that are similar to SEEDS, David said, “There’s really nothing to compare SEEDS to.” Indeed, SEEDS fulfills a unique niche in the Durham community by offering a safe place for children to learn about the environment, gardening, and healthy eating.

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