Tennessee Honey Bee   |   Tennessee   |   Army

I have wanted to have bees to enjoy fresh raw honey since I was a young 12-year old girl watching Fried Green Tomatoes,” recalls Anna Ashton.  She began beekeeping in May 2018 and has grown her apiary to 10 colonies.

“Since getting bees I have realized how therapeutic it is to handle them. I have found beekeeping to be a form of meditation. When in the hive, I must provide my full attention, patience, and a slow purposeful movement. Beekeeping brings me peace and into a healthy state of mind. It’s my Zen.

Just a month after graduating high school, Anna joined the military.  The 27th of June marked her 19th year in the TNARNG. She has deployed twice to Iraq with the 278TH ACR in 2004 & 2010.

Now she turns her ambitions to beekeeping.  Anna’s plan is to leave the cubicle far behind and become a self sufficient full time apiarist and gardener.  Her goal is to grow her apiary to 100+ colonies and educate interested people in the art of beekeeping, a goal which she is working towards daily.

“I have experienced the loss of a colony, but I consider the losses tuition, learned lessons which cannot be read in a book or taught in a class.”

A recipient of a Tractor Supply Company gift card in 2020, Anna will be able to make in-store purchases to help her further her path ahead.

She has completed the Beginners Beekeeping Course – Cheatham County Beekeeping Association, The Master Beekeepers Course – The University of Tennessee (Level 1 of 2), and several seminars throughout the state. Her plans are to attend Level 2 of Master Beekeepers Course this year.

Anna is currently a student at The University of Tennessee at Martin, studying Agriculture Business.