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Greeley, Colorado 80634

We are a family of beekeepers and adventurers who make and distribute products from the daily lives of bees.


We love telling stories and are honored that you would want to be a part of them. This is a summary of our journeys, our adventures and how our lives and the lives of our bees intersect.


Beekeeping teaches us to slow.... down...

Kenneth-James Tencza

Owner, operator and head-beekeeper KJ Tencza with a painted box turtle he found by the Illuman Apiary hives. 

Owner, operator and head-beekeeper KJ Tencza with a painted box turtle he found by the Illuman Apiary hives. 

When one thinks about bees and beekeeping, the descriptor, "Busy as a bee," seems to always pop up. While beekeeping is a busy practice with thousands of hours of work per beekeeping season, we have found that the best beekeepers practice patience and mindfulness. 

Beekeeping is like solving puzzles. Each hive has its own personality, pace and drive. Each time we enter a hive, we "read the comb." Reading the comb consists of slowly and masterfully, going through the hive and counting eggs, larva, brood. It includes looking at patters, consistency and trying to pick up on the vibe of the hive. At this point, we can tell what we have to do to best cultivate that hive... Then on to the next, then the next, then the next. Each hive is like its own city or even world. To blow through a hive would be to discredit its complexities and value. Yet many of us do this with our lives. 

Each of us carry a complex, diverse purpose and have a desire to be seen and celebrated. The pains we feel, we long for them to be recognized. Daily we encounter thousands of people that we hurry past, we visit places that we never see and we exhale before our inhale had any value. 

What would it be like for you to slow down? What would it be like for you to see the things that are commonly unseen? What would it look like for you to stop long enough to count the things that are valuable... 

Click the images to scroll through :)

This article isn't as much about the bees as what the bees inspire. In fact, this was inspired by a single trip to our beehives. During a two hour time period, we saw a painted box turtle crossing the road. We stopped, picked him up and helped him on his way. Then we saw a dead pheasant with led shot in its side. We comptemplated its story... probably chased by a bird dog, shot by a hunter, ran away and was never found. It died and was hidden until this point.. Then we saw a flock of chucker running between our hives. What?! Are you even kidding? The eyes of the chucker are bright orange with white stripes running backward... amazing! 

This is a pace of life, the bees inspire. A pace that allows us to stop, look and imagine. Its a pace where you can count the little things. Its a pace where you expect to be stung a time or two, and that is a part of the blessing of the life we live. 

May you find a pace of life you love. May you see the sacred in the simple. May you count things that are small. And may you find slow, smiling turtles crossing your busy roads. 

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