As a young girl growing up in a small town in southern Vermont I became very interested in our state insect, the honeybee. With my name meaning honeybee in Greek I wanted to educate myself about them. With my first and longest job I have ever had, besides Bee Well Massage was on my local organic vegetable farm. Through this great job it was very easy to learn about them and their importance. Bees became my first love.  I soon discovered my second love, music.  I can not remember when I first realized music was special or important, but I do remember being a child and not being able to get enough of it. My uncle was (and still is) a radio DJ. I have very fond memories of hanging out in the radio station listening to The Beatles and The Allman Brothers and of course my uncle had to play Sweet Melissa for me!  The Grateful Dead was also in heavy rotation while I was in charge.  My first two passions were bees and music, it was not until much later I discovered my true purpose and how both bees and music were going to be such huge part of my future.

Growing up I always thought I would do something in agriculture, although music was becoming very important to me, so important that in high school I booked my cousins band at our prom, my first but not my last time booking a band!  In my senior year I became the vice president of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) for my school.  When I graduated from high school in 1998 I went on to study agriculture and self sustained living at Sterling College in northern Vermont. I was so sure agriculture and farming were my passions and going to be my future.   Like most young adults I didn’t actually know what I wanted. While I was attending Sterling College I learned very little about agriculture but I became an expert on the Burlington music scene! It did not take me long to feel the need to go explore, it was time to get out of Vermont!  I spent 19 years here and it was time to see some place new. I started traveling with my boyfriend at the time through the north east and the south. After about a summer of seeing music, camping and going where the wind took us, we found ourselves in northeast PA. While I was living in northeast PA, I was hired to work at a greenhouse. Pretty much the only thing I knew how to do at this point was grow, harvest, and sell vegetables. I worked for this greenhouse for one morning in the rain and I was fired. The man looked me straight in the eye and in all seriousness he told me “you are not going to work out here, you don’t have planting hands” I was so mad and scared. PLANTING HANDS? What does that even mean. I thought,  “if I don’t have planting hands what kind of hands do I have?”

One afternoon  I saw a commercial on TV for massage school, and thought “maybe I could be a massage therapist” I do like to work with my hands, and I like alternative healing methods, and I love to help people…..hhhmmmmm?  Could I trade in my green thumb for healing hands?  I enrolled and started massage therapy school. I really had no idea what I was doing when enrolling, but I thought it would be best to give it a try.  Well in this trying I ended up graduating with the highest grade in my class. In 2001 I graduated with a certification to practice massage therapy. I had found my skill in this world, only I still was not convinced of it. At this time in my life, I did not care about massage. I only cared about music. I wanted to go to every show, I wanted to be involved with every show and I wanted to help the bands I really liked. So that is what I did. I spent all my time going to shows.  Through this addiction for music I started promoting and traveling with local Philadelphia bands. I started building relationships with bands, talent buyers, and promoters, anybody I could network with. All of this networking finally landed me, at the time, my dream job. I returned to Vermont and got the job as the Entertainment Coordinator for the music venue, Nectar’s in Burlington. I stayed at this job for about three years and decided to move back to Philadelphia and work for the bands again. I began doing promotion and road managing for a couple of bands which brought me back on the road.  It took me a little less than 2 years to get tired of life on the road with rock and roll bands.

My body was unhealthy, my wallet was empty and my soul was in search of something deeper and more consistent. In my quest for this deeper meaning in life, I started working at a health food store in Philadelphia.  I started working in the produce department, but quickly moved to the nutrition department. This job opened my eyes again to a lifestyle I had known as a child growing up, but had not thought about as much as I should have!  My focus shifted to the healthy of my body, mind and spirit.  As fate would have it I went back to practicing massage therapy. I had been giving massages to my friends here and there and to the bands on the road, but it was time to take massage seriously. I started working for a clinic in Philly and I was receiving really positive feedback from my clients.  After about 2 years of working for this clinic I finally had the confidence to go out and work for myself. It was important to me to incorporate massage with all aspects of wellness, and specifically the role bees play in this aspect of life.  Massage therapy started taking priority in my life and it felt good. My health was improving and still each day try to maintain a healthy and green lifestyle. The more I was getting into massage and my health the less I was involved with music. I started to really miss the shows, my friends, and even the business. I somehow wanted to get involved again, but I was too nice for rock and roll and I was enjoying how I felt and where I was in my head and heart, yet still something was missing. I thought, "how can I combine all that I love?" 

Well, in 2006 I started www.beewellmassage.com to bring awareness to my massage practice as well as the unbelievable honeybee. In September of 2007 I met the man of my dreams, after living in Philadelphia together for a year we moved back to Vermont. At this time I also took my vision for Bee Well Massage to the next level and became the owner of Bee Well Massage LLC.   I combined all that I love by providing massages to the bands who played at the local music venues. I also worked with festivals inside and outside of Vermont as well as other fun, creative events. I also worked with local companies in the area to provide their hard working staff with chair massages. Through all the people I met I got to talk to them about honeybees. I also donated money I earned from doing massages to honeybees. For example I have hosted four Bee Aware Party events and in 2012 I introduced The Bee Well Book, a non profit book about honeybees.

In 2013 my Loverman, Chris and I decided to move out of Vermont. The ocean was calling us and we answered. I moved my life and Bee Well Massage LLC to Portland Maine.

Thank you for reading and for visiting beewellmassage.com if you want to reach me for any reason please visit the CONTACT section of this site for contact options.   

Bee Well,
Melissa B