The Holy Spirit Preparatory School junior said her family, which lives in Sandy Springs, started keeping bees about six years ago on a whim. Caroline has a brother, Simon, 18, and is the daughter of Cliff and Anna.
“It was my mom’s idea,” said Caroline, 16. “At one point, we had six hives, but it’s a lot of work.”
The family now operates two hives and bottles the honey it collects from them with a hand-spun centrifuge.
Beekeeping doesn’t come without a price, however.
“I’ve been stung so many times, I can’t really feel it anymore,” Caroline said.
Her father, who is originally from Australia, also said he had been stung many times.
“I got stung about five times with a full suit on,” he said. “The reward is great, though.”
Caroline said beekeeping is a growing hobby.
Gina Gallucci, president of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association, said the club has 185 members.
Cliff Phillips also explained the concept behind smoking bees (inserting smoke into the hive), which the family uses to avoid getting stung.
“The idea with a smoker is the bees think there’s a fire, so they go in to protect the honey,” he said.
Caroline said she usually tends to the bees a couple of times a week in warm weather and once a week in cold weather.
The family also has five chickens, along with their two household dogs and a cat.
Each chicken is a different type, with one of the hens being a miniature variety. Caroline said she originally had six chickens, but gave one away when she found out he was a rooster.
She got the chickens at the end of July and said a couple of them are due to lay eggs any day now.
One of the chickens will lay salmon-colored eggs, one will lay robin’s egg blue-colored eggs, and another will lay chocolate brown eggs, Caroline said.
The student also grows garlic, passion fruit and other herbs and flowers.
“I’ve always liked Martha Stewart,” she said. “I’ve always liked to do what she does.”
At school, Phillips enjoys acting.
She plans to attend the University of Georgia, but is still unsure of what she wants to pursue in college.
“I’m thinking maybe PR or real estate,” she said. “I’m not sure, though. There’s too many things I want to do.”