Bee Expert: Keith Glatzer

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Glatzer holds an old beehive in his backyard.

Keith Glatzer was a teacher at Seattle’s University Cooperative School when he first became interested in beekeeping 15 years ago. His co-teacher needed a place to keep his bees because of the city allowed only a certain number of colonies on each property.

“And I asked him I could just keep it to one or two colonies, and he kept 20 or so at the time,” he said. “And he just shook his head and said, ‘You’ll see.’ And now I run about 30 colonies, and it’s completely overwhelming.”

Glatzer hosts the honeybee colonies at his home in Edmonds, as well as in Kingston and Maltby.

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Glatzer is able to form solid blocks of beeswax from the bee hives. Beeswax can be used to create products such as candles, lip balms and soaps.

“They are just amazing animals to watch, to watch individual critters all work together as one unit,” he said. “They do a much better job than people.”

But beekeeping is only part of his job. Glatzner, the owner of Wild Bee Company, mainly removes and relocates stinging insects from people’s homes. He started the pesticide-free business about four years ago, after being a carpenter for more than a decade. His carpentry skills come in handy when he’s removing bees – instead of leaving a big hole in the wall after removing bees, he’s able to fix it up afterward.

Glatzner said his job is “as much a service as educational.” Sometimes he persuades people to leave the bee hives that they called him to remove.

“I think it’s great if I get the chance to talk to somebody and say, ‘Hey, those are bumblebees. They are doing really well there, and they’re kind of out your way, and they’re not aggressive. They’re a great insect, they’re great for the area. Just leave them and they will be gone in October,” he said.

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Glatzer checks on some of his bee colonies in his backyard.

Even if he walks away without a job, he values educating people more than the monetary gain.

“It doesn’t put money in my pocket,” he said, “but I do like talking to people and actually, I feel good when I talk people out of killing them.”

Pet Sitter: Nancy Evans

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Nancy takes care of up to 18 pets a day as a part of Dolce Vita Pet Care.

For Nancy Evans, having a full-time job as a pet sitter was never something she sought out to do. She would occasionally take care of her friends’ and family’s dogs, but it was always a side job to her corporate job at Nordstrom.

“It just kind of morphed its way into that,” Evans said. “I really truly believe if you do what you love, it will work.”

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Dogs happily sit in the front seat of Nancy’s car.

Evans grew up with pets at her home on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington. She lived near a stable, so her family had horses as well as cats and dogs. Now, since 2008, Evans runs her own pet care business called Dolce Vita Pet Care, which she named after her dog from 20 years ago.

“It’s very rewarding, which is something that I was lacking,” Evans said. “I love the individuality of it, and me being able to craft my day and organize it and get things done.”

So, what does a typical day look for Evans? Seven days a week, she drives to houses throughout Seattle to check in on pets, give them a walk or run, bring them to the park, and take care of them overnight. Sometimes she takes care of18 pets a day.

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The dogs wait patiently as Nancy prepares to feed them dinner.

“It’s never really exhausting. If someone is not getting along – like a new dog or a dog at the park – that can get exhausting,” Evans said. “It just takes one to screw up the whole dynamic.”

Generally, the pets get along. They see each other so much that it’s almost like they’re friends going to day camp. There are a few regulars at the Evans household – she owns dogs Ketchup, Biscuit and Peanut. She found Peanut and Biscuit on the road, and Ketchup was a former client who needed a home.

As Evans enters her seventh year of running Dolce Vita Pet Care, it’s the little moments that are her favorite part of the job.

“Everyone, for the most part, is really happy to see me,” she said. “I have this one Papillon that I take out, and as soon as I park the car and I get out, I can hear him barking in his condo, like, ‘My ride’s here!’ It’s really cute.”

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