Friendships can form over the most unusual things.
Strangers get introduced or strike up a conversation with each other.
In this case, it's bees and the profession of beekeeping.
It involves Maryl Clyke, a woman from Ontario, Drew Hume, a man from Australia and Trevor Tuck, the operator of Tuck’s Bee Better Farm in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Oddly enough, at the heart of this story is a yoga retreat in Costa Rica.
The trio first met in 2017 when Hume and Clyke made their first trip to Newfoundland and Labrador. On that trip, they came to see Tuck and pick his brain about Tuck’s bees.
The pair had plans to open a yoga retreat — Navina Costa Rica — in the South American country and were looking to bring in some bee colonies when the time was right.
Tuck was more than happy to help out and told the couple that when they were ready to give him a call. He had contacts in Costa Rica that could help them get started.
That time came for Hume and Clyke in January of this year with the centre in place. As it turns out, Tuck and his girlfriend happened to be in Costa Rica at the time.
Tuck told them about stingless bees and the medicinal effects of their honey, which fit with what they were promoting at their retreat.
Fast forward a handful of months and Hume and Clyke were back in Grand Falls-Windsor visiting Tuck in late July.
After some initial conversation, they fell into a familiar pattern. Amidst the sound of buzzing bees, paired with the sounds of construction as a new building took shape on Tuck's property, the trio talked about everything bees.
“They’re like your children,” Hume exclaimed while crouching near a hive at the rear of the property.
He grabbed for his phone shortly after and brought up a video. Excitedly, he pressed play on a video clip from earlier this year of Hume checking one of his colonies.
On his finger is a tiny glob of honey and he’s feeding any bee that wants a taste.
“That is how it gets you,” said Tuck. “It gets you interested and you want to learn more.”
The conversation continued among the three beekeepers.
They discussed Hume’s set up, marvelled at the level of intelligence of bees and grew excited at the mention of the pollinators.
Tuck noted a stark difference from the time he met Hume and Clyke to this sunny Newfoundland day in July, even going so far as to say he was being taught something during the conversation.
“I am completely obsessed,” said Hume. “After he came down the last time, I was like this has to happen now.”
“We need bees,” added Clyke.
When the conversation shifts to the subject of how a group of important insects brought three people together across international borders, Tuck mentioned it's something that happens in the beekeeping world.
You meet someone with an interest in beekeeping and they become a part of your life, it's that simple according to him.
“Anytime I go to Costa Rica now, I have to go and see how it's going,” he said. “Anytime I know of someone going to Costa Rica, I’ll tell them to check out Navina.”
Hume figures it will be the same for him in reverse.