The Un-Bee-lievable Adventures of Dana Ceva: EASTON FRONT PORCH

Dana Ceva, Easton resident, graduated from UCONN in 2019 with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Landscape Architecture involves designing the natural world and integrating it with the built environment. As a residential landscape designer, Dana is designing pool environments, gardens, foundation plantings, and master plans for people’s homes. “ I hope to do more sustainable work with meadows and native plants in the future,” says Ceva.

She firmly believes that the crazy events that everyone is chalking up to 2020, is the Earth finally saying “I’ve had it.” She understands that climate change is real, and she’s determined to do everything in her power to help the environment and educate others on some simple changes that can make a big difference.

Changes that Dana’s made so far, include composting, cutting out single-use items, bringing utensils and travel mugs to restaurants and coffee shops, using storage containers instead of saran wrap or ziplock bags, and using solid bar shampoo and toothpaste tablets. 

In addition, Dana has called over 50 companies to take her home address off of their mailing lists. She also makes her own handkerchiefs out of old cotton sheets instead of using paper tissues, and she buys bulk, unpackaged produce from stores and local farms. 

Dana’s latest effort to reduce the negative impact on the environment has been to take up beekeeping. One day, she visited a family friend in Casco, Maine who has honey bees and thought they were the coolest thing she’d ever seen. After seeing honey bees up close, she knew that she wanted her own. 

Since she lives with her parents, Dana thought she would have to wait until she had her own property to start beekeeping. As soon as she brought the idea up to her dad, however, he was also interested and wanted to learn more about it. 

Dana and her dad joined the Backyard BeeKeepers Association (BYBA) in December, took a class in beekeeping in January, met many beekeepers in the area and decided to go for it! Their bees arrived this past April, and Dana and her dad are currently being mentored by Jaime Smith, a beekeeper in Westport. 

“It has been a big help having the expertise of someone who knows what they are looking at inside a hive – what to watch out for, when to expand the hive, what to do if something appears to have gone wrong. A lot of people I mention beekeeping give me an incredulous look, since Beekeeping seems daunting to those who know nothing about it. I’m not going to lie, at first, it was daunting to me, too – My dad and I had 20,000 bees show up at our house back in April. It doesn’t sound fun to most to have thousands of tiny creatures that you can’t pet, talk to, and can sting you! But to me, it is fun and fascinating. I’ve learned so much.

“My dad put a bench outside our hives. It is one of the most relaxing things to sit there and watch bees come and go from their hives, knowing that us providing them a home has immensely benefited the environment around us. Bees travel in around a 5 miles radius from their hives, so if you’re in lower Easton, chances are our bees have visited your gardens! Don’t stop planting native species for them! And feel free to leave a water dish out on hot summer days – they get thirsty. I am determined to add beekeeping to the more common list of things people can take on if they are truly trying to save the planet. Our way of life depends on these small insects; we need more people to tend to them to really see our environment flourish,” says Ceva.

Kudos to Dana for all of her efforts to replenish and sustain the environment! The Ceva Apiary has a select amount of honey and is also selling lip balm made from beeswax from both their own hives and Jaime’s hives in Westport! 

You may reach out to Dana at:  dana.m.ceva@gmail.com for inquiries or purchases!

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