At the ripe old age of 8, I bought my first hive at a garage sale while living in Western Nebraska near the Agate Fossil beds. My grandfather contributed to my new hobby and gave me his old smoker and veil (circa 1900).  I then set out to catch my first swarm of bees. Maybe my Dad didn't believe I was serious and took it as another one of my passing phases, so I started my hives with no frames. During the day I attended a three room school house and sometimes rode my horse Lucky instead of the school bus. Then in 1973, at the age of 10, my family pick up and moved to Iowa.  By then my hobby had turned into a passion and I was allowed to purchase some frames and my first packaged bees from Sears.  I was so excited to pick them up at the post office.  I know this sounds funny, but in the 70s people in the Midwest even bought houses from Sears through the mail. 

In my sophomore year in high school I decided it was time to become a commercial beekeeper.  I had advanced to driving a car at that point and met my future business partner while driving in an ice storm.  Though he sideswiped my car, our meeting was fortuitous. By the time we graduated from high school we had 169 healthy hives producing gorgeous comb honey. We ended up selling our business to a larger commercial beekeeper in Iowa in order to help fund our college educations. 

After college, I traveled the world building windmills, bio-diesel, ethanol plants, water and waste water treatment facilities, including experimental and cutting edge projects to protect our earth.  I was working on a project in Colorado the night I meet my wife.  We now live in Iowa, back to my roots and belief of living more simply and mindful.  We named our company Bee Mindful to reflect our product offerings as well as a lifestyle/mindset

that is so important for our overall wellness, happiness, and survival of our earth and nature's creatures.   Our community, local farmers and friends have embraced us and are helping to spread the word about the importance of bees to our food supply and health.  Presently our hives are located and having an impact on land throughout the Raccoon, Des Moines, Cedar, and Wapsipinicon river drainages. We also recognize the importance of working with large farmers and chemical companies on developing the best solutions for all concerns. 

These days I find myself riding my bike or tooling around town in a Cushman, because it is my dog's vehicle of choice. Even he wants to cut down on our carbon footprint.



Cail Calder


Member of

Iowa Honey Producers Association