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The B Side Team:

Cindy Bee

Building Community

Cindy Bee (“Bee”) works in Hinton, WV for the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective as a MasterBeekeeper, team leader, and educator. The Collective maintains about 1,000 hives and serves the community by teaching beekeeping as a means to supplement income for those affected by the close of the coal mining industry.

Chef Josh Berry

Local Honey

Maine native Josh Berry, a seasoned chef specializing in enhanced local cuisine, is at the helm of one of Portland, Maine’s hottest restaurants: Union.Located on 390 Congress Street and opened in May 2015, the restaurant has been one of Portland’s most buzzed-about in the Old Port with rave reviews from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Maine Magazine, DownEast, Food & Wine, Food Republic and more. In March 2017, UNION was invited to host a dinner at the James Beard House in NYC. Shortly after, Berry was named “2017 Chef of the Year” by the Maine Restaurant Association.

Chef Berry’s culinary talent, creativity and background are the driving force behind UNION’s locally-driven philosophy. His Maine roots and passion for the culinary community here in Portland are palpable. He brings a great energy to the kitchen and it translates directly to the plate, delighting diners both locally and “from away.” Chef Berry is thrilled to have rooftop beehives from which he can source the most local honey possible!

Maggie Knowles

Maggie is one of the breeds of allergic beekeepers who just can’t stay away. A keeper for seven-years, she hopes everyone gets the opportunity to fall in love with bees at least once during their lifetime. She is the co-founder of Portland Protectors, the nonprofit that worked with the city council to draft and pass one of the strongest organic lawn care ordinances in the country. To pay for her bee obsession, she is a columnist for Maine Women magazine and co-founder of Portland’s sassiest PR Firm, Muse Relations.

Emilia Dahlin

Bee Bard

Wielding a voice that defies the size of her body, Emilia Dahlin has carved out her name as a unique songstress. She weaves mesmerizing tales (complete with Greek myths, robotic messiahs, epic floods, and tax evaders) with raw, rootsy folk and dynamic jazz vocals. Her well-crafted songs sound as if they’ve been left outside where time and weather have worn cracks for the wind to whip through. Her sky-rocketing energy is delivered with honesty. 

Throughout an eighteen-year performance career that has taken her through the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Europe, Emilia Dahlin has made Maine her home.  Known for strong storytelling sensibilities and memorable performances, Emilia has garnered national awards: Telluride Troubadour, Winner of the Starbucks Music Makers Competition, Winner of Boston Music Conference Songwriting Competition, and the Great Waters Songwriting Contest.

Emilia gains great joy from collaborating and co-creating and believes that music and storytelling are some of the most powerful tools to foster connection between people and create positive social and environmental change.

Erin MacGregor-Forbes

What’s going on with the bees and why it matters

Erin MacGregor-Forbes is a lifelong resident of Portland Maine and is the Chief Financial and Operating Officer of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.  In her “secret life” she is the Chair of the Eastern Apicultural Society, the largest non-commercial beekeeping organization in the United States.  She manages roughly 100 hives as a side gig and teaches advanced sustainable beekeeping courses in Maine and throughout the country.

Laurie Martin

Beekeeping with very young children

Laurie Martin lives in Georgetown, Maine with her husband and their three sons. Laurie is a PreK/Kindergarten teacher at Georgetown Central School and recently started beekeeping with her students. After receiving a grant from the Whole Kids Foundation she was able to begin a bee education program and has had extraordinary success with the program.

Thalassa Raasch

Super-urban beekeeping

Thalassa Raasch is a French-American artist, educator, and beekeeper living in Portland, Maine. Her practice explores perceptual boundaries, translation and loss. Her research has included blind photography, traditional gravedigging and closed-eye hallucinations. She is currently Faculty Fellow in Art at Colby College. As a teenager in Minnesota Thalassa was introduced to honey bees and beekeeping. Now, she maintains personal apiaries in Portland and Brunswick producing “Little Dude” honey. She also works for the Honey Exchange and runs Keepers (, managing beehives for organizations, companies, and families from Cape Elizabeth up to Augusta.

Vicky Smith

Raising bee-friendly children

Vicky Smith is a children’s librarian–turned–children’s-book reviewer. She keeps one spouse, one daughter, one dog, one cat, and six beehives at her home in South Portland. She is also a former Guinness World Record holder for a team read-aloud marathon, which only goes to show that anyone who can read can break a world record.

Phil Gaven

SWARMS! They’re (not) gonna getcha

Phil Gaven is a co-owner of The Honey Exchange in Portland, Maine.  He has been a beekeeper for the last 13 years, during which time his hobby turned into a passion, and the passion became a business.  He teaches beginner beekeeping from January to April every year, then serves as a beekeeping resource for southern Maine the rest of the year.  Phil gives dozens of beekeeping talks to schools, libraries, clubs, and businesses, thrilling students young and old.  He is a certified Master Beekeeper by the Eastern Apicultural Society.  Phil currently maintains a dozen colonies in various locations.  He lives in South Portland with his wife, various animals, and lots of (you guessed it) bees.

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