As an owner of a large Long Island pest control operation (Suburban Pest Management LLC) that was turning away all honeybee calls, in 2008 Craig Byer felt a responsibility to entertain the hobby-profession of beekeeping. This belief was strengthened by his concern about colony collapse disorder.

Once Craig started beekeeping—with three packages of bees—he began to understand that there was more to being a beekeeper than pollination and honey. There was a whole other side: Apitherapy.

While working with the bees, Craig got stung on his leg, accidentally. It was then that he first experienced the benefits of bee venom therapy. The area stung was a calf that had been cramping up for most of the day. In half an hour the cramp was gone. Now, he says, each time this happens “it is fascinating to feel the BVT really working for me.”

Previously Craig was a bartender, taught tennis, and worked with children with special needs. At college (the University of Miami and C.W. Post, on Long Island), he concentrated on psychology but ultimately majored in theater. The proud father to four-year-old daughter Sophia, he enjoys slalom skiing, snowboarding, and motorcycling.

Craig was elected to the AAS board earlier this year. Between his office and his home yard, he keeps a total of 15 colonies, and he performs hive removals and swarm captures. With plans to become an Apitherapist and a Master Beekeeper, he hopes to attract more people to “this beautiful activity of keeping and utilizing bees and all they produce.”