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About Peace Bees

Peace Bees is the culmination of Alex Lesniak's, "The Bee Girl", love for the peaceful honey bee.  This all started many years ago with a 4-H project and a passion for the environment.   

Over the years, demand for classroom visits and appearances has grew beyond what she could accommodate so this site is designed to share her activities with teachers, scout leaders and anyone else interested in honey bees. 

We expanded our community outreach by donating bees, equipment, hive management and beekeeping classes to The Unity Gardens. This launched them on a very successful program of having hives all around the community. One of our adult students invited us to join his campaign to change a decades old ordinance in South Bend Indiana that kept home owners from keeping honey bees. In less than six month the ordinance was changed! It should always be legal to grow your own food. 

The latest effort is to grow our apiaries to support sales of honey, bees, queens and other hive products. We are working to develop programs to bring employment and apprenticeships in beekeeping to the South Bend area through a partnership with Goodwill Industries of Michiana. Let us make South Bend the honey bee capital of the U.S.A.! 

Changing the world one hive at a time.

  The Team

Alex Lesniak, Founder and Board Chair – Alex is a graduate of Purdue University Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary Medicine. She is currently working  on her Masters degree in Humane Education through Valparaiso University and the Institute of Humane Education. Alex has been a Beekeeper since 2005. Among her many service honors she was the 2007 Indiana Beekeepers Association Young Beekeeper Of The Year and 2011 Indiana Honey Princess. She has gone on service and research trips to Romania with Purdue and Andegada, B.V.I. with the Fort Worth Zoo. Alex donates much of her spare time to several charities and is the Supervisor of College Crew Committee for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. She is a 4-H leader for St. Joseph County and a 4-H Judge in Koskiusko County and received the St. Joseph County Outstanding 4-H Leader Award. Alex is still in demand for her honey bee presentations, contributes her guidance and vision to the business, and assists in the apiary as time permits. 

Steve Lesniak, Chief Operations Officer – Steve has a degree in Fine Art Photography from Ball State University with experience in advertising. He has a certificate in Programming from DePaul University and over 20 years experience in Information Technology with more than half as a Manager/Director. Steve has been a beekeeper since 2005. He is the St. Joseph County 4-H Beekeeping Superintendent, has been the Vice President and President of Greene Township 4-H Advisory Board, leader for Photography, Beekeeping and adviser for Jr. Leaders. He also received the St. Joseph County Outstanding 4-H Leader Award. He also teaches adult beekeeping courses and gives honey bee talks and presentations in the community. Steve is the Coordinator for the 2014-2015 USDA SARE Grant FNC14-957. He is the head apiarist for Peace Bees and manages all aspects of the business.

Jonelle Lesniak, Chief Product Officer – Jonelle has a degree in Education from Ball State University and is a veteran K-8 teacher with nearly 30 years experience. She has been a beekeeper since 2005. She is a Greene Township 4-H board member and served as Township Coordinator, County Advisory Board member as well as a leader for Photography, Computers and adviser for Jr. Leaders and received the St. Joseph County Outstanding 4-H Leader Award. Jonelle uses her education experience to hone the Peace Bees educational programs and is working on building Common Core based honey bee curriculum for grades K through 8. She assists in the apiary and teaches youth classes for Peace Bees. Jonelle assists with managing the business and is in charge of quality control from classes to hive products.

John Simala, Advisory Board Member and Financial Advisor– John holds a degree in Psychology from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. John has experience teaching advanced topics in History and Sociology, administration of a community oriented non for profit organization as well as owning his own successful business for more than 40 years. He has also been a long-time active member of several community service organizations. John uses his broad experience to advise Peace Bees regarding financial, social and business decisions.