In memory of Bill Hartley

The beekeeping community is saddened to hear of the passing of one of our founding board members.

Our founding DCBA President, Christina Beck had this to say in honor of Bill's memory:

"Bill was an incredible person with a great heart. He was always there if my family needed anything. One of the biggest things I'll always remember about him would be the early morning or late night messages he would send when he got a great idea (and great they usually were).

Bill was an absolute beekeeping guru. He spent countless hours reading research and could be very scientific in his methods, but at his hives there was almost a spiritual side to Bill's beekeeping. I found myself lucky to have been allowed to work hives with him.

Throughout his time with our association, he set up nucs for many new beekeepers. People across Denton and beyond are raising beehives he started. He was one of the first people to jump up and volunteer when the association launched and we needed people to help out. His lack of finesse with technology was always a source of good natured jokes at board meetings. He was a great study buddy for Master Beekeeping exams and a wonderful friend. I can't say I've ever met someone quite like him. He is dearly missed."

Please feel free to comment and share any thoughts or wishes for the family in remembrance of Mr. William Hartley.

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17 thoughts on “In memory of Bill Hartley”

  1. A week ago today, Cindy and I, along with a standing room only crowd, said our final goodbye to Bill Hartley. His memorial service honored him in death as he lived in life–with levity, laughter and love. Ours was not a longtime relationship as so many were of those gathered in the Small Chapel in the Woods, but it was no less lasting and impactful. The few short years we knew him as both mentor and friends leave us with a heartfelt desire to keep his memory alive through one of his life’s greatest passions — beekeeping. The day after receiving the shocking news of his passing was our first Spring hive inspections. It was a beautiful Spring day. We were lucky enough to witness the orientation flights of all our hives that day. Our bees were not only alive, but thriving. There could bee no better testament to Bill and what his help and guidance meant to us as hobby beekeepers. He was with us that day as the knowledge he so unselfishly shared resonated in our hands..our minds…our hearts. It is his legacy that we celebrate from this day forward. In the coming days, we will be placing a plaque in one of his hive lid covers and mounting it near our hives in his memory. It says, “The greatest gift we can give to those who have left us is to live fully in their place.” We do. We will. Godspeed Bill!

    Kirk and Cindy O’Hair

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  2. Bill had a great sense of humor – his truck had a bee (that he had made) on the antenna. I first remember meeting him when our location was changed at the last minute from the Elections Bldg to the Budweiser bldg…he was there to redirect traffic, as it were. That was when I noticed the bee and walked over to confirm that I was at the right place – I was a newbee, dont-cha-know – and he spent 15 or so minutes just talking “bee” things. He was the President, at the time, and encouraged me to attend the meetings. Later, he would send me info on swarms that were in my area, to help me get started. Sorry to hear he has left the hive, as it were – he will be missed.

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  3. Very sad indeed. But I love reading all the stories here about how Bill helped so many beekeepers. He obviously touched a lot of lives. He was always willing to help someone interested in bees. He was always very busy but never to busy to help a fellow beekeeper. Last year when I was just getting started he came out to my place free of charge just to check my setup before my bees arrived to give me feedback and suggestions. He will be missed by many.

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  4. Bill’s passion was definitely beekeeping. He had a huge desire to know the “up and coming” in the field – the knowledge of science and nature. To share this knowledge with others was something he enjoyed. The industry will miss him.

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  5. Bill got me started just about a year ago with a swarm he caught and gave to me, after first visiting and checking out where in the backyard to put a bee yard. He lived close by and was my beekeeping mentor. We talked and texted often. I am very surprised and saddened to hear of his passing. He taught me a lot and had so much information and enthusiasm to share. I will miss him.

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  6. I am absolutely devastated and just cannot believe the news. Bill and I had been talking just a few days ago about bees and the hives my husband is building. Bill was the reason I decided to finally move ahead with my dream of being a beekeeper myself. I met him a year ago when he was teaching a beginners beekeeper class. His no nonsense and natural approach to beekeeping and down to earth way of life and attitude was what made me fall in love with him! Bill was so patient and encouraging, no matter how many questions I asked about bees and processes of being a beekeeper…he never tired to share his knowledge and was a great help to the hubby as well. I remember being so nervous when he came to our house and yard because I so desperately wanted his approval and assurance I could indeed keep bees right her in my backyard. The beekeeper world will not be the same without him, I know that for sure. I will do my best , from the heart, to be a beekeeper he’d want to see for our world. Miss you, sir! Rest In Peace 🐝 💕

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  7. I was so sad to hear this . When I 1st came to this group just over year ago bill was the one who embraced us and came out to our farm and talked to us about our bees and Gave us direction.. I remember the relief of knowing he was giving the right advice to us at the right time made me feel safe and supported and a part of the community with all of you.There is no doubt how much he will be missed

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  8. The shock of Bill’s passing leaves me numb and with a great sense of loss. He was always so thoughtful, delightful to be around, and inclusive of everyone even if you were a dumb newbee who didn’t know anything. He readily shared his knowledge and was excited to learn new research in the field or experiment with new ideas. His legacy will live on in my hives! Rest in peace my friend.

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  9. The shock of Bill’s passing leaves me numb and with a great sense of loss. He was always so thoughtful, delightful to be around, and inclusive of everyone even if you were a dumb newbee who didn’t know anything. He readily shared his knowledge and was excited to learn new research in the field or experiment with new ideas. His legacy will live on in my hives!

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