I have lived and breathed arts and spirituality all my life.  My work as an artist, educator and poet has taken me to England (where I lived for eleven years), Northern Ireland, Turkey, Europe, India, and North America.  My creative life has embraced being a documentary film maker, dancer, choreographer, writer, drummer, actor and director, and in this last fifteen years I have also been involved in creative bee education and poetry internationally.



2005 – present (ongoing):  I am a Master Beekeeper and international educator, speaker, poet and artist who travels, educates and inspires people about honeybees and the natural world. These are some of the highlights of my resume life (for a more detailed list of my specific engagements across the years, both in the US and abroad, please visit this page.

CREATOR of The Sacred Path of Bee, an online series for bee appreciators world-wide.

FOUNDER of Holy Bee Press.

POET and creator of Debra Roberts: On Bees and Being.


  • Natural compassionate beekeeping (all aspects / nuts and bolts), wisdom from the bee yard, women and beekeeping, beekeeping as a sacred practice, why bees make us better people, successful urban beekeeping, modern pollination practices, 100 ways and more that you can help the bees, grieving as activism, and bees and consciousness. Some venues include Organic Grower’s School and WNC Bee School (Asheville, NC); O.L.E (Outdoor Learning Environment annual gathering for teachers in the US); various bee clubs and associations, retreat centers, conferences, festivals, summer camps, and schools (elementary through university, US and abroad). Have educated and shared stories with thousands of children, college students and adults over the years about honeybees, natural compassionate bee stewarding, and sacred relationship with bees.
  • Technicians of the Sacred: The Awakening of the Ancient Bee Priestesses in Contemporary Bee Sanctuaries with Layne Redmond (workshops and conferences).
  • The Spirit of Bee with pueblo elder, Larry Littlebird of Hamaatsa in New Mexico

NATURAL BEEKEEPING MENTOR: Bee mentor for Hamaatsa (an indigenous learning center in New Mexico). Also, regional, national and international mentoring (ongoing).

CONSULTANT / COLLABORATOR with other artists on honeybee-related projects:

  • Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees (Descansos for the Bees; honeybee-inspired installation in CA)
  • Jenny Lynn McNutt (in-hive wax sculpture);
  • Layne Redmond-: My bees were recorded for the soundtrack of Layne’s CD, Hymns From the Hive);
  • The Sacred Path of the Bee (workshops, webinar with Layne);
  • Heritage Eco Bubuyog (bee) Bangle for the Benitez Collection (my work with bees was inspiration for the design of some jewelry).

ADVISORY BOARDThe Center for Honeybee Research, a non-profit serving national beekeeping research in the U.S.


APIARY INSPECTOR for the Certified Naturally Grown Program: An organization that is creating standards in the U.S. for natural beekeeping practices and products.

MEMBER:  Buncombe County Beekeepers Chapter and NC State Beekeepers Association.



HERON PRODUCTIONS LLC is my multi-media company which serves as an umbrella for my creative projects: documentary films, stage productions (theater and dance), editing books and articles, CD talks, online educational series, and also hosts the creative work of Holy Bee Press. From 1996 to the present, it has been my great privilege to produce or co-produce the following:

  • THE HONEYBEE PROJECT:  A multi-media children’s education project on the subject of the honeybee.
  • BIG MEDICINE FROM SIX NATIONS, a book authored by Tuscarora elder Ted Williams, published by Syracuse University Press.  Editor.
  • PRASAD FOR WOMEN, a series of five-CD talks for women.
  • MAMA’S MAGIC, a documentary on poet, educator, and writer Glenis Redmond.
  • HONORING YOUR BELLY, instructional video of teacher / author Lisa Sarasohn teaching belly-energizing exercises drawn from yoga and other healing arts.
  • TURTLE ISLAND TALES, children’s educational / entertainment documentary on puppeteer Hobey Ford.
  • I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW, educational / music video about air quality for middle school children.  For Mountain Air Quality Coalition, NC.
  • IT’S ALL ABOUT DREAMS, documentary / musical video for S.T.E.A.M. (Success Through Education and Motivation), after-school program for “at risk” teens. Also, TOBACCO PREVENTION, video for teens for S.T.E.A.M.
  • CD (OPERATION SPONSOR-A-SOLDIER) for Tanya Wilson, teaching a holistic healing technique to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
  • CAMELOT REAWAKENED:  A VISION FULFILLED, a documentary on composer / musician Richard Shulman and the creation of his visionary music for symphony orchestra, “Camelot Reawakened”.
  • ACE WHITEWATER RAFTING, revision of video promotional materials.
  • ECO TEAM, a children’s environmental education video for third graders.  For the Environmental Leadership Center, Warren Wilson College, NC.
  • BIODIVERSITY ALL OVER THE PLACE, a children’s environmental educational video for the Great Smoky Mountains Park, “Parks as Classroom” program.
  • SHINER ANTIORIO, promotional video for this American Sign Language signer and performance artist.
  • DO THE RIGHT THING, a documentary educating civic water engineers and citizens around North America on the dangers of lead in drinking water for infants and children.
  • HEAL ME, promotional video for Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care for use in their fund-raising and public awareness campaigns.
  • STEP SISTERS, promotional piece on the poetic dialogue on race and womanhood for poets Glenis Redmond and Patricia Starek.
  • FOCUS GROUP on PSA for The Gorilla Foundation.
  • WE ARE NEW MEXICO, series of English / Spanish TV PSAs for V.I.D.A., NM, for their public awareness campaign to change misperceptions and prejudicial thinking about Spanish speaking immigrants.
  • PARALLEL THINKING FOR JURY DELIBERATION, a documentary and companion guide for juries based on the work of Edward de Bono.
  • LIFE AS PEACE, a documentary featuring the wisdom of elders and exploring their understanding of what peace is (including Tuscarora / Iroquois elder, Ted Williams; Cochiti Medicine elder, Andrew Ahsona; Mary Lou Cook; Ann Dasburg, and others).  Ongoing.



  • FOR THE LOVE OF MARGE AND WALLER, a forty-artist collaboration stage show and tribute to Debra Roberts’ parents at Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville, NC. Producer, director, performer. (2001)
  • COYOTE GATHERS HIS PEOPLE, a Native American sacred performance troupe, NM.  Performer. (1990 – 1996)
  • THE NEW MEXICO LITERACY THEATER, a company touring pueblos, schools, prisons, and rehabilitation centers around the Southwest, promoting literacy.  Director of theater troupe, writer, actor. (1989 – 1995)
  • PLAYBACK THEATER, Santa Fe, NM.  Performer. (1989 – 1996)
  • IMPROVISATIONAL THEATER workshop for Association for Experiential Education, Santa Fe, NM.
  • BEGINNING WITH WHO WE ARE NOW, Railyard Performance Center, collaboration with two other artists (dance and theater). NM. (1995)
  • PANTOMIME (theatre) Various productions, Plymouth, England. (1981- 1984)



  • ASHEVILLE RHYTHM FESTIVAL: performer (drum and dance); Djanza, Jessie Lehmann & Boomchix. (2018)
  • Asheville Rhythm Ensemble (frame drummer; tambourine), performing ensemble for community events:
  • The YaYa Marimba Band:  marimba player (2000 – 2001)
  • African and Haitian dance: NM, CA, NC. Performer, choreographer, teacher. (1989 – present)
  • Lake Eden Arts Festival, Black Mountain, NC. Dancer, choreographer. (1990’s)
  • Workshops and performances for the Association of Transpersonal Psychology conferences, CA. Performers (dancer / marimba / drum) and workshop leaders with Joe Roberts (1990 – 1992)
  • African dance workshops in conjunction with Joe Roberts’ drumming workshops (various regional, national, international; adults and children) (1991 – present)



  • Founder of LITTLE PEARLS, a non-profit organization that creates “tiny films that open hearts and minds”. Founder, Executive Director, Consultant. (1998 – 2005)
  • Children’s Summer Art Series, Oo-oonah Center, Taos Pueblo, NM. Teacher. (1990’s)
  • Middle School Play, Waldorf School, Santa Fe, NM.  Writer, director. (1990’s)
  • FOUR WINDS INSTITUTE, workshops on creativity and intuition. Co-Director, Staff, Theater Arts (1989 – 1992)
  • Organizer / co-producer of the first CARTOONISTS ACROSS AMERICA tour with Phil Yeh to promote literacy (1985 – 1986)
  • SKITS / PLAYS, since I was old enough to walk – college.  Writer, actor.
  • Frame drum and tambourine player and student (ongoing)





  • Bachelor of Arts degree, Indiana University, Bloomington, IND. (1974) Double major in Psychology and English Literature, graduated with Honors. Also selected for Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honor society in the United States.
  • Master Beekeeper: NC Master Beekeeper Program via NC State University, three years; with Dr. David Tarpy. (2010)



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Annallys Goodwin-Landher June 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Was checking out Les Crowder’s site and noticed he lists a workshop with you in August. Please send particulars. I’m currently enrolled in a biodynamic beekeeping course with Gunter Hauk. Met Les several years ago and respect his work with bees.

Thanks, Annallys (previous email was hurriedly scrawled on the computer at the public library before it closed down)


Dawn Scheppach September 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I am now planning a trip to Asheville, aiming for this coming week. What activities could I participate in to be able to meet you and your group? I have shared to joy of Caring for Bees in Berks County, PA. I work co-creatively with Nature, including our Bees. Thank you. Debbie Nordeen gave me your information. I love Soil, Gardening, Bees, Plants, Nature. Yes, Meher Baba is Our Connection. Joyfully. Dawn. 215-284-1459. I very much would like to get a sense of this when I come. 215-284-1459.


Debra Roberts September 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Hello Dawn, so wonderful to hear from you, thank you. I will respond to you in full by email. Many blessings, Debra


Amy Cisneros February 10, 2021 at 10:30 pm

Hi Debra Roberts, I work at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM. I see you made a documentary film titled LIFE AS PEACE, a documentary featuring the wisdom of elders and exploring their understanding of what peace is, and I am interested in finding some info about Cochiti Medicine elder, Andrew Ahsona. We have a watercolor painting attributed to Andrew Ahsona, and I wanted to know if he had a son with the same name, or if this would in fact be Ahsona’s painting. Thank you!
-Amy, Curator of Collections, IPCC


Debra Roberts February 19, 2024 at 9:04 pm

Hello Amy, this is Debra and you very kindly contacted me in 2021 (!) and I am only seeing your message now. Please email me and we can talk further. Andrew was a dear friend of ours. You can find me at: Many blessings.


Leave a Comment