Meet Quentin Stedman!

Meet Quentin “Q” Stedman, owner and operator of Q’s Bees in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Quentin started at RTA in 2021 as our Quality Assurance Engineering Lead. Quentin is a born and raised Wisconsinite and calls Waukesha and the Northwoods home. Quentin’s family includes his wife, Sandy, four children, Brooke, Lindsay, Brandon, and Hunter, and their three cats Zoey, Kelso and Myles.

Beeing Serious

Here in Wisconsin, we love a good story about a farmer – whether it’s their full-time position or a hobby farmer like Q. We decided to “bug” Quentin with a few bee-themed questions. We learned when it comes to beekeeping and honeybees, Quentin knows his stuff!

What is your favorite part about working at RTA?
The people. A close second is having the chickens and the honeybees on the property.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Tough question, I grew up in the driftless area in Wisconsin next to a trout stream. Western Wisconsin, Western Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington where the look out my front door was not flat country. I enjoy the fall colors, the winter snow activities, the spring flowers and watching summer fly by.

If we were to find you outside of work, what would you be doing?
Spending time with my family although my wife would say I spend all my time working with the bees. I enjoy fishing in all the seasons, hunting and woodworking. My wife and I like to travel to areas that we have not been to before and if there is a brewery near that location were are often found there trying a flight of the brews.

How long have you been a beekeeper?
I grew up on a dairy farm with a local beekeeper as a good family friend and was exposed to them early in life. I finally decided to run my own bees in 2015. I am now also the beekeeper for Gwenyn Hill Farm, a large organic csa farm in Waukesha, so the majority of my hives are enjoying a central area that is chemical free.

How many hives do you have and how much honey do you produce annually?
I currently run 35 hives, some of which are used in education and others are used to split for more hive colonies. Honey is a great bonus to beekeeping, but much of my focus is pollination. I still end up with more than 1000 pounds of honey each year.

Tell us a fun fact about bees or beekeeping:
There are so many fun facts about bees so here are a few:

  • Honeybee queens can lay 1,500 eggs A DAY.
  • A single bee makes 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime.
  • Honeybees keep the inside of their hives at 90-92° fahrenheit (if it’s cold outside, all the bees vibrate their bodies and create body heat to warm up their hive to 93°, and when it’s hot outside, they flap their wings like fans to create a breeze and cool it off.)
  • Raw honey on a burn stops the pain!
  • Local raw honey daily helps with allergies!
  • Honeybees are the ONLY insect that produces food for humans to eat.
  • Honeybees pollinate approximately 80% of all vegetables, fruit and seed crops in the USA.

What’s one thing every person should know about beekeeping or honeybees?
You are going to get stung sometime! Honeybees and all the other pollinators that live in your area need your help. Loss of habitat and chemical use have crippled what used to work pretty well.Learn how you can provide a habitat and if you must use chemicals, learn the best times to do it.