Renovation Buzzing At Auburn’s Courthouse Square

AUBURN – Nikki and Danny Hayes are renovating a historic building on Auburn’s courthouse square for living space, yoga classes and the education outreach of Aunt Bea’s Apiary.

Earth and Owl Yoga is already held on the main level and a downtown revitalization grant from the city is helping to fund electrical and heating updates.

Hayes: “I’m an antique lover and the history of this building really appealed to me. Some of the things we know about it, originally it was built in the early 1900s and it was a piano and jewelry store at that time.

A few things came along, I’m not completely sure what. In the ‘50s it became a five and dime.  Merlin Nincehelser owned it as an antique store for many, many years. It became a pottery studio.

When we went upstairs and saw the top level, it was so neat to see the different spaces that were utilized as offices back in the early 1900s.”

The couple started working with bees five years ago and plan the education center to spark appreciation and respect for bees.

Hayes: “I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about bees, why they are important, why we need them. When my husband and I became bee keepers, it really wasn’t necessarily with the intent to educate the public, but as we worked with bees and we personally learned more about bees, we were just completely fascinated and just kind of fell head-over-heels in love with everything about them.

We wanted to share that, so a few years ago we started a little non-profit. We offer field trips and activities for children and families to come and understand what bees do for us and what they can do to help bees, because bees truly are in decline.

They pollinate the food we eat, so we really need them.

We just try to offer fun ways to get the community involved in planting more habitat and learning how they can be friendly to pollinators.”

The previous owners of the building at 19th and O streets put on a new roof and modernized windows.