Up Front with Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | February 1, 2024
From Missouri Conservationist: February 2024

There lives a band of brothers, self-christened as the Bees & Brews Club. They are paramours of tallgrass prairie, who, when on the clock, are conservation professionals, but once off, they are wildflower warriors, spending their time restoring Missouri’s incredible habitats and cataloguing bumblebees, all while enjoying an occasional pint. 

The “club” exists because MDC retiree Bill White was eager to collect bees as a Missouri Bumble Bee Atlas volunteer. He asked MDC colleagues and fellow bee enthusiasts Jason Jensen and Nate Muenks to come along.

But where? They had the perfect location and next club member in mind — grassland guru and MDC colleague Aaron Jeffries, whose farm is home to over 100 species of native wildflowers. 

And brews? Well, they needed a cooler to keep the bees calm and sedated during processing, so why not add in a few beers. It was after hours, after all. Thus, the Bees & Brews Club was born — T-shirts to follow. 

Now MDC is abuzz with stories of the club and interest is growing. I recently read that the first sign you love the work you do is when you “can no longer distinguish between work and play.” I think the club members exemplify this wisdom. Wandering through a field of wildflowers catching bees — sounds like a pretty good day on or off the clock to me.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director


This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale