People

Donald Vincent—the beekeeping bartender

Donald Vincent and I met at Riverfront Park so his children Shea, 8 and Zack, 12, could play. Our interview just beat out a pounding rainstorm. He had been an acquaintance of mine for a decade or so and the impression I’d always had was of a kind, friendly and smart man.

That’s probably why he’s so well-suited to being bartender at The Stone House, one of Montrose’s most popular restaurants. He’s been there 7 and a half years, and watches the kids when he’s not working. His wife, Jill, is the showroom manager at Dahl Plumbing.

“I enjoy meeting the people and there’s always new people coming through—business people from out of town, reps, vacationers. It’s stable. The same people have worked there for many years and it makes it a fun place.”

Vincent grew up in Vermont. He went to college at the University of Denver (DU) with a double major in psychology and biology. “My concentration was in sports medicine and I was certified as an athletic trainer. I liked it.” He enjoyed working with the athletes on the field and didn’t really want to do a clinical setting. “I worked with DU’s baseball program and lacrosse. But I found that the amount of hours that you have to do was the thing that I really didn’t want to be into. In a cinical setting you make your hours. But if you’re following a team you have to go where they’re going. If you’re focussing on baseball you have to start with the minor leagues and work your way up, just like the atheletes do.”

Bees

Vincent’s interests range from athletics to insects. “I have a lot of strange hobbies. I’ve always been interested in bees and about four years ago I was out in the garden and I had a swarm of bees finding a new home-about 10 or 15,000 bees just coming up my road. They landed on a branch right across the street from me.

“I’d done some research before hand. Any time I’m interestred in something I obsess about it and learn everything I can and then I move onto something else.

“When they swarm, they gorge themselves with honey and half the colony leaves and takes the old queen. It kind of spoke to me and I decided to get into bee keeping and for the past three years I’ve had beehives. It’s a hobby. I don’t sell much honey. I’ve been working on increasing my colonies. The bees feed on the honey, that’s their food. They need to be sure that can get through the winter. Some people steal all their honey and feed them sugar water. I’d rather they can eat the honey that they make

“Bees are horders so they will continue to create excess amounts. So you can steal the excess amounts and I’ve given them away as gifts. This year I’ve actually purchased some starter colonies. So I should have quite a bit of excess honey in the next couple of years.

“I’ve also been into composting worms,”he said. “I think they’re just super neat creatures. I’m one of those green realists. I think we have too much excess, we consume too many things, and we waste too many things for sure.So any time we can put things back into the earth or the environment as it should be, it’s a great way to do that.”

He uses his psychology training at the bar and his biology background in the backyard.

The kids are doing well. Zack is almost 13 . Shea has just turned 8. “I try to spend a lot of time with them,” he said. “I just took Shea on a trip to Disneyland for her spring break, just the two of us, our first daddy-daughter trip. We went down to San Diego.”

“I took Zack to the World Series last year; he’s a real Royals fan.We love going down to spring training every year, and he caught a couple of balls. You want your kids to have as much fun as they can.”

The Stone House is a staple in Montrose. “They’ve done a good job of making it a place where people want to come back.

“Even though I’m always looking for fun, I also like the security.”

He loves life. He comes from a solid family background. “We’re going back to Vermont for my parents 50th anniversary. I know that if I needed anything I could call on my parents for support I need.”

About the author

Mavis Bennett

Mavis Bennett

A western Colorado resident for most of her life, Mavis Bennett is the publisher of the Montrose Monitor. She has written for newspapers and magazines more than three decades and founded the popular Monitor Magazine in 2003. This web site is the logical progression for the Monitor.