Green Thumb, Yellow Passion

Andy Currin is a pro at landscaping and beekeeping

Andy Currin works as assistant supervisor for grounds maintenance with Duke's Facilities Management Department. Scroll down to see Currin in action as a beekeeper. Photo courtesy of Facilities Management.
Andy Currin works as assistant supervisor for grounds maintenance with Duke's Facilities Management Department. Scroll down to see Currin in action as a beekeeper. Photo courtesy of Facilities Management.

Name: Andy CurrinPosition: Assistant supervisor for grounds maintenance, Facilities Management DepartmentYears at Duke: 4

What I do at Duke: As a campus horticulturist, I direct Duke's programs for tree management, integrated pest control, flower covering, as well as any other specialty needs with landscaping for the university. My department also handles a large majority of planting new trees and shrubs.

If I had $5 million, I would: Buy a yacht and sail the world. I'd love to visit Easter Island because I've watched documentaries about the statues there. They're one of the things I've always wanted to see in person.

My first ever job: Working for my dad doing landscaping when I was 10. We had a family business that worked in the Raleigh area. We had apartment complexes to maintain, and I'd take care of flowerbeds and help with pruning. I did it on Saturdays, during school holidays and over the summer.

If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: Beekeeping. I've been a beekeeper for seven years now. I have over 50 beehives that help pollinate vegetable crops at home and I also harvest their honey. My wife and I want to be sustainable, so we also have chickens for eggs, we grow our own vegetables, and we bought a couple hives for honey. It grew from there. We give our honey as gifts and sell it at the Waverly Farmers' Market in Cary.

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Andy Currin dons protective gear to take care of bees at home. Photo courtesy of Andy Currin.

My dream job: To be a commercial beekeeper. Aside from collecting honey for my home, I've also helped do things like extract beehives from houses. Sometimes I can go six hours and never notice how much time has passed.

The best advice I ever received: When I was going to college, my dad told me the most important thing I could learn was to think and reason.

What I love about Duke: The architecture of the buildings and historic significance of the campus. When I have the chance, I like to read about the history of the university and the Duke family.

When I'm not at work, I like to: I love spending time with my son. I also enjoy trips to the mountains for sightseeing, gardening and beekeeping.

If I could have one superpower, it would be: Super strength. I get tired doing all the landscaping work I do, so being super strong would mean I wouldn’t get tired.

Something most people don't know about me: I teach gardening classes at Duke Gardens in my spare time. I've been doing that for two years. I teach about gardening in each season, organic gardening and small-scale gardening. I also have a turf maintenance class this spring and a mushroom culturing class.

The skills I bring to work: I have experience with every facet of landscaping. There's nothing involved with landscaping I haven't done through my career.

A Movie I like: Dodgeball. It's one of those funny movies that I can watch and still laugh at, no matter how many times I've seen it.