June 19, 2008

3 Min Read
Personality+: Herb Guck -- Living The Hive Life

By Cara Sievers

Intelliverse Vice President Herb Guck works to procure and create the best customer offers possible, but he also can be heard buzzing about the art of apiculture.

That’s right — Herb is a beekeeper. He stumbled into this hobby by chance, but he said it has turned out to be enjoyable, beneficial and profitable.

Herb Guck and his bees

It all started when Herb’s garden of plants and fruit trees wasn’t producing well; a horticulturist suggested beekeeping to increase pollination. After a little research and the purchase of a single hive, Herb’s gardens were growing much better and he also found delight in watching the bees. “I do enjoy watching the worker bees enter the hive and the dance they do at the entrance to inform the other bees where the flowers are to get pollen,” Herb explained.

Herb now has four hives — each containing approximately 10,000 bees. He tends to the hives once every few weeks to see that the queen is laying eggs and the hive is producing honey. Additionally, at times, it’s necessary to gather the excess honey or repair worn-out hives.

Herb said beekeeping is not a “life-consuming” hobby, nor is it an expensive one; he spends about $200 per year on each hive to acquire new bees or repair supplies. The bees help earn their keep by producing several gallons of honey every year, which Herb bottles and gives to friends, or sells.

Not unexpectedly, Herb has been stung by his charges many times. But, surprisingly, he is allergic to bees! He was once stung in the face and had to go to the emergency room. He now takes medicine in the event of a sting. “The bee really does not want to sting you; but if they fear that you’re going to harm [them or] the hive, they will defend it and sting you,” said Herb, explaining that a bee can sting only once and then they die. “If you just brush them away, then they will move on.”

Herb belongs to a bee club in his hometown, Roswell, Ga. Through the club, he can network with other beekeepers, some of which are hobbyists and others that are involved for profit in the business of honey production.

And when provided the opportunity, Herb also enjoys taking students to see the hives to help them understand the lives of bees and what they do for humans and the environment. “Until you really take the time to watch and learn about [bees], you really don’t understand how they work as a team for the benefit of the hive; it is very interesting how they communicate and work together,” said Herb. “The real benefit to us is they pollinate the plants that produce our food. Without them, we would not exist for long.”

Herb’s day job: When Herb isn’t tending to the beehives, he works as vice president, procurement and supply chain, for Intelliverse. He is responsible for purchasing services and products for the company’s customer base and managing the supply of equipment that its customers purchase.

Herb’s first job: Herb snagged his first full-time job with Xerox Corp. in Rochester, N.Y., at age 21, as an industrial engineer in manufacturing.

Herb’s prized collection: Model promotional cars from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Currently reading: “Invest Like a Dealmaker: Secrets from a Former Banking Insider,” by Christopher W. Mayer

Words to live by: “History has a tendency to repeat itself.”   

Thoughts on telecom: “Digital phone service will continue to expand and unified messaging options will grow as phone service integrates with data and visual offerings to create a single source for communications.”

Do you know someone who has Personality+? We’re looking for interesting characters in telecom to taket the spotlight. Please send nominations to Cara Sievers at [email protected].


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