WHO WE ARE
Stephen Repasky joined BurghBees back in 2008 with the intent of looking for a place to put some city hives but instead got wrapped up in the energy, the mission and dreams of BurghBees. He is an EAS Certified Master Beekeeper and currently serves as the President of Burgh Bees as well as the Second Vice-President of the PA State Beekeepers Association. Steve is a second generation beekeeper who grew up on a small farm in Armstrong County and considers himself a Sideliner beekeeper – keeping hives in many areas in around the city. Steve keeps busy with everything from mentoring new beekeepers, teaching classes, collecting swarms and extracting feral honeybee colonies from structures as well as working with local communities developing regulatory code to allow the keeping of bees in urban areas. He is a member of the Eastern Apicultural Society, Beaver Valley Beekeepers Association and the PA State Beekeepers Association. Steve is also involved in raising local mite resistant queens. Stephen has a B.Sc. degree in Wildlife Management from Penn State and has recently written a book entitled “Swarm Essentials: Ecology, Management and Sustainability” – to be released in January 2014.
Philip Bauerle has been a Penn State Extension Master Gardener since 2012 and has given local programs on how gardeners can support pollinators by the choices they make in their gardens. He is currently the Interim Master Gardener Coordinator and is working with the Master Gardeners to certify the pollinator garden at the Burgh Bees Urban Apiary as ‘pollinator friendly’–A statewide initiative of the Master Gardeners. Beyond honeybees, Philip has also taken interest in native pollinators and wrote an article for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette entitled: “Be kind to bees: they pollinate” (2011).
Jeff is a third-generation beekeeper who currently manages 20 hives and mentors beginning beekeepers. He is passionate about promoting healthy colonies through natural beekeeping practices and sustainable integrated-pest-management techniques. Jeff has worked closely with Burgh Bees since 2009 in various capacities to increase community awareness and support for the organization. Elected to the board in the Fall of 2013, he will serve as the apiary director for our Homewood apiary and will mange corporate interest for our hive leasing and management program, with accounts such as Whole Foods Market and The Porch at Schenley, an Eat’n Park hospitality group restaurant. Jeff is an avid environmentalist and sustainable business owner. He created and runs SEEDS Green Printing and Design, a green printing and design company located in Pittsburgh that serves clients worldwide.
Bob Tatro was born in Pittsburgh and raised in North Fayette Township where he currently lives with his wife Renee. Bob and Renee are both retired Civil Engineer Officers from the Air National Guard/US Air Force after serving over 26 years. Bob joined Burgh Bees in 2014 after seeing a steady decline in the number of honey bees pollinating his garden. Bob is also a member of Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers Association and the PA State Beekeepers Association. Soon after joining Burgh Bees, Bob became an active volunteer supporting the efforts of the organization at the apiary and other educational presentations. While relatively new to beekeeping, Bob joined the Board of Directors to use his leadership and organizational skills to help the organization fulfill its mission. .
Born and raised in Bethel Park, PA. Attended Robert Morris and Ohio University. Lived in Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida during his 40 year work career with Verizon and 3M, now retired. Tom kept bees while living in North Carolina in the mid 1970s and has renewed his interest in beekeeping after returning to Pittsburgh. He currently has an apiary in Forest Hills.
Felix L. Yerace grew up in Washington County and has always loved the outdoors. He is in his third year of active beekeeping, but has been interested in bees and their behavior for many years. Felix enjoys hunting and fishing (especially fly fishing) and is a member of the Carrick Sportsmen’s Club. He volunteers as a mentor with Family Tyes, which is a group organized to help families become involved in fly fishing. Felix recently retired from teaching but is still active working with students, and remains the Head Track & Field Coach at Keystone Oaks High School. Felix has a B.S. in Education and a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from California University of Pennsylvania.
Originally from Oakdale, Pennsylvania, Neal served in the Marine Corp Reserves and is a former war vet having been mobilized to combat as a Military Policeman in Desert Storm/Shield in Saudi Arabia & Somalia. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics/ Pre-law and has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. His professional career began in Miami at the State Attorney’s Office then the Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and later transitioned to the hotel contractual side of the business with Starwood at the Westin Convention Center Pgh and The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. Promoted to Director of Sales with Fairmont he was on an opening (new build) hotel team with Fairmont Pittsburgh and then on a Regional team with Fairmont overseeing 21 sellers over four resorts based in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada. Promoted again Hyatt brought Neal back to the U.S. and back to his hometown as Director of Sales & Marketing with Hyatt Regency Pgh. Farm to fork cuisine and corporate responsibility has always been one of his many passions thus a perfect fit joining Burgh Bees Board of Directors as he implements locally sourced honey and social education with honey bee hives on his hotel property. Pgh International Airport will be the first airport in the U.S. to house honeybees.
Kyle works as an urban farmer, conservation photographer, graphic designer and is a second year beekeeper. He has a passion for bringing the farm to the city and is set to launch Hazlewood Farms in spring of 2015. Kyle says he was drawn to bees for their non-stop work ethic and instinctual know how. He says that he was drawn to the Burgh Bees organization for the same reasons. Kyle is a graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and when he is not digging in the dirt or attending his hives you may find him banging a drum for the Pittsburgh based Scottish pipe and drum corp. Balmoral Pipes and Drums.