About Cascadia Venom Collection:

Meet Our Team

Zach Techner

Owner, Collector

Originally from Southern Oregon, Zach moved up to Olympia and began keeping honeybees in 2004. A couple years later, he began working for Mike Juhl “the Bee Man” and took over the business in 2017 when Mike decided to retire. Zach's passions are beekeeping, horticulture, salmon fishing, birding, hiking, carpentry and homesteading.

Stephanie Techner

Owner, Office Manager

Steph was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit. She wandered out west in 2003 and began studying forest ecology and ecological agriculture at The Evergreen State College.  She fell in love with so many things in the PNW and feels incredibly lucky to steward her and Zach’s little piece of farmstead heaven along the Black River.  She couldn’t be more pumped about being able to work from home and hang out with sweet Stella. 

Zak Smith

Collector

Zak was born and raised in the Olympia area. He began collecting insects for the Bee Man in 2012. He is passionate about environmental stewardship, sustainable food systems and co-parenting his two sons Torleif and Lucian with his wife Heather. In the off season he works in the field of environmental restoration and dabbles in farming.

Sean Croke

Collector

Sean grew up in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, where he first became enamored with working with the natural world. He moved to Olympia in 2003 and got his degree from The Evergreen State College with an emphasis in ethnobotany and chemistry. Sean has been working with various non-human organisms in order to make his living for many years including fishing for salmon in the San Juan islands and working with plants as a landscaper/gardener and as an herbalist/wildcrafter. When Sean is not collecting wasps he is spending time with his partner Thea, their baby Juniper, and their sweet old dog Buddy. Sean also is a practicing herbalist and produces a line of botanical extracts.

Kellie Shincke

Collector, Honeybee Specialist

Kellie is a lifelong Olympia resident. She fell in love with bees in 2009 when she built her first top bar beehive. She planned to keep two or three hives, but late that summer one of her colonies swarmed. Zach showed up to get Kellie's swarm out of the neighbor's tree, and she's been hooked ever since. She now keeps as many colonies as she can capture.

Mat Griesse

Collector

Mat grew up in rural Eastern Washington near the Grand Coulee dam.  He got an Industrial Design degree from University of Washington in the 90’s and worked in the Seattle area for 18 years designing and building furniture.  He got out of the city and moved to Lewis county in 2010.  When he’s not catching bugs he likes to collect old records, make Jewelry, and go hounding for rocks and minerals.

John Anderson

Collector

John is originally from Tacoma. He enjoy's pina coladas, walking up to hornet nests without his veil on, and getting stung in the face :)