Meet The Savannah Bee Blog Team


Kate Dowdle

Hey, Honey! I am the Social Media and Content Marketing Manager at Savannah Bee. I love my job almost as much as I love my coworkers - especially the bees.  My favorite part about this job is definitely working with the honeybee hives and the deliciously healthy treats they are kind enough share with us.  Anytime I'm overwhelmed by excel grids and SEO reports, I just step into our Bee Garden for a zenful reminder of why we do what we do.  We speak for the bees who protect and nurture our environment.

I grew up in Montgomery, Al- Savannah has been my home for six years now.  Before knowing Savannah's eclectic beauty and charm, I was a wandering soul.  I have a Bachelor in Fine Art with a concentration in Painting.  I began my education at the College of Charleston, continued at Lorenzo di' Medici in Florence Italy, and graduated from Auburn University in Alabama. I immediately moved to NYC for four years then bounced around a few more states before landing in the romantic city of Savannah.  I am a painter, photographer, Queen Bee and creative thinker with a passion for Public Relations and Social Media Marketing.   I have a giant fluffy puppy named Bee (you can find her @fluffybee) - and a loving cat named Bumble.  Some of the girls in the office found this cuddly cat nearly starving in our Bee Garden and nursed him back to health so he could come live with me and bee.  My house is filled with love and light, I am grateful every day.

Julianna Rabeler  

I never developed a knack for turning things down. I blame it on being perpetually curious. This curiosity has led me down innumerable paths, some of them lacking in one way or another, but all of them worthwhile. I was born in Brunswick, Ga. before moving to Arizona where I lived for 11 years. My journey back to the South took me to Savannah, then to Statesboro where I received a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Georgia Southern University. Upon graduating, I went on to get my Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from Auburn University where I taught public speaking and concepts of communication and journalism to undergraduates.

Today, I am the Assistant to the President and Owner of Savannah Bee Company where I strive to work and live in a manner that contributes positively to the world. In addition, I am an educator for the not-for-profit, The Bee Cause Project. I actively visit schools and partake in speaking engagements to introduce children and adults to honeybees and their importance to our survival.

Since childhood I have been a dreamer; a wanderer; a believer in possibility. At 7 years old my dream was to save the rain forest. I even wrote and illustrated a story about it. It was the first time I can remember wanting to do something so badly that I felt it necessary to write it down. I believed that sharing my story with others would make it a reality. I never saved the rain forest, but the lesson that carries through my life is this:

The language we use and the messages we create have the power to mirror, build, sustain, and even transform who people are and how they view the world.

Writing is not my profession but it is my passion. When I write I frame the story of my soul’s imagination as I strive to make sense of the world and people around me. I exist ordinarily in an extraordinary world filled with beautifully complicated people. My day-to-day interactions cause me to pause and look deeper into my imagination in such a way that I may cultivate a deeper understanding of life as a social, unpredictable experience.

Saving the rain forest was my first dream and will always be the most beautiful of them all. It is through that dreamer's lens that I turn an eye to the simple, elegant, and unconventional acts that construct daily life.

usherUsher Gay 

I am an Educator for Savannah Bee Company as well as a beekeeper, and the resident Tour Guide for our Bee Garden. I was born and raised in Savannah Ga. Living on the river, I spent most of my youth on or in the water. After high school, my life took me out west to Taos NM where I worked on a horse ranch for two years before deciding what I wanted to do as an adult. Playing music was always an important aspect of my life and I found myself drawn to that. I attended Georgia Southern University and then Berklee College of Music in Boston where I studied sound design and audio engineering.

After college, I found myself in Raleigh NC, where I had my first experience with beekeepers. I had a colleague who kept multiple hives in his backyard. I returned to Savannah a few years later and Ted was kind enough to give me a job that eventually merged into what it is today. Outside of working at SBC, I keep my own hives and I’m looking forward to the spring when I will be starting a small group of new hives on Wilmington Island with friends. I have released three solo albums over the years and I continue to play and write music whenever possible. I enjoy cooking and spending as much time on the water as possible.

jonathan leeJonathan Lee  

I’m the wholesale shipping manager at Savannah Bee. I grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. My family and I used to go hiking in the mountains several times a year. So with that and the fifty acres of wilderness we lived on I grew a great fondness for nature. I attended the University of the South in Sewanee, TN where I studied photography. Sewanee (as most call the university) is perched on 10,000+ acres of the Cumberland Plateau and offered up many more opportunities to explore the wilderness. While there I also hiked, rock climbed and went spelunking for the first time.

I read non-fiction constantly and thrive on learning new things about the world around us. It is exciting to pass on some knowledge through the blog! As a craft beer, cider and mead advocate I love exploring fermentation in all its forms, whether I’m providing food for the tiny yeast cultures or ingesting their labors. When I’m not at work shipping our products around the world you’ll find me dining at a neighborhood restaurant, trying something new at a local brewery or making a fresh batch of mead. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JnthnL  Instagram @JNTHNGL

Rayne MacpheeRayne Macphee  

Hey, guys! I'm currently an Educator here at Savannah Bee Company, which is a job that feels extremely comfortable for me, since I am also a beekeeper. I've been beekeeping with my dad for almost three years now, and bees have become a very important part of my life.  I'm originally from Greenville, South Carolina, and I currently attend the College of Charleston. I am a double major in Studio Art and Education.  One day I hope to teach college-level painting, and also continue my career as an artist on the side.  So, when I'm not at Savannah Bee, or watching my own bees, you can usually find me in a coffee shop or in my studio drawing and painting.  I have just started college, and I feel so lucky to have found this incredible job, where I am constantly surrounded by awesome people and delicious honey... I feel really at home here. Yay, bees!

Emily RaymondEmily Raymond  

Hi there! I’m currently working as a Bee Educator for the Savannah Bee Company on River Street, where I am better known as ‘ERay’ to my co-workers.  I’ve had the privilege to be with the company for two years, and I adore being part of such a tight-knit and supportive team.  What a great setting to help educate people from all walks of life, about the wonder of the honeybees.

Prior to moving to Savannah, I was raised in North Georgia by two wonderful parents who instilled a love of all things outdoors in both my brother and myself.  My first “hike” was at 2 weeks old to Amicalola Falls and my parents said I slept right through it.  Every opportunity we had, we were backpacking or camping in the North GA mountains, kayaking down the Chattahoochee, or exploring the woods around us.  After leaving the nest, I attended Georgia Southern University where I studied Spanish and International Studies.  After graduating, I realized how much I missed learning, yet I have found that fulfillment within the Bee.

My admiration for Mother Nature and all she has to offer and teach me is what drew me to Savannah Bee.  The company calls us to live our lives like the honeybees do; constantly give back, care for others and live simply.  Every day, I try to live by those three core things and encourage others to do the same.

20160606_151734Henry Givins

I have spent the largest portion of my life working in the ministry. But, there came a time when I needed to step down take things a little easier. However, I just never got around to reading the handbook on taking things easy.

My wife and I started helping churches to either build or re-build and found ourselves just as busy as we were before. Little by little we slowed ourselves down and found rewarding careers. My wife creates costumes for dance studios, school, and church plays and for one of the local tour companies. Just when did she slow down?

In addition to working a full-time job, I busied myself writing Christian fiction for several years. Since I am an avid Southern Gospel Music fan it is only natural that I turned to singing and recording. After playing around with a few CDs full of gospel music, I have found a style that I feel comfortable with. Therefore, my slowing down and taking things easy has encouraged me to record three CDs within the next six months!

I am slowing down so much that I have been working at Savannah Bee for the past several years. Until lately, I have spent my time working in our production and shipping warehouse. Finally, I am fortunate enough to have the privilege to work in the Wilmington Island Showroom on Johnny Mercer Drive. A preacher who gets a chance to meet people and talk a lot, now that's a natural fit.

During the course of my life, I spent a good bit time researching the health benefits of herbs and essential oils. Then when I came to Savannah Bee and became acquainted with honey, a whole new world of health benefits opened up for me. Now it’s another exciting quest for knowledge about the wonderful products we sell. What I find out and the testimonies of our customers never ceases to amaze me. It is so exciting! But I still have to ask, when will I get a chance to slow down?

IMG_4661Jared Jackson

I am 24 years old and originally from Boston, MA, but I will always call Savannah my home. I’m a creative being, so I’m enthusiastic about expression and independence. Food has always been a passion for me, and so has writing. My food blog, A Slice of Thyme, is where I bring together those two things. You could call that my sweet spot– it puts me right where I need to be. I am a small business owner and I aspire to own a food truck in 2016. Thank you for all of your love!

Sarah BanSarah Ban

Sarah Ban is a freelance beauty, health & wellness editor and writer who works with the best brands and publications in the world! In 2009, she fell in love with using manuka honey as a cleanser and hasn’t looked back since.