By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Alexis Dela Cuesta, a certified public accountant by profession and an urban beekeeper by hobby, and his wife Sheila, developed a board game that “was originally meant as a party favor for those who were present during our daughter’s first birthday. Her party was bee-themed and we wanted to go a bit overboard for it,” Dela Cuesta said.

Meant for ages seven and up, the board game, named Sting-A-Win, combines two favorite games in one: the classic Snakes & Ladders, and the thrilling Exploding Kittens.

“We added a quiz bee aspect to the game to match the party’s theme. We mostly researched the information that we used on the internet,” he said.

FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART – Sting-A-Win is suitable for ages 7 and up.

Instead of using dice, the couple opted to use cards with information about bees with a designated number on each. The numbers represent the number of steps that the player can take on the board.

The information, on the other hand, isn’t just for decoration. If a player lands on a quiz bee tile, they have to answer questions that correspond to an amount of points ranging from 100 to 500. The answers to the questions can be found on the cards distributed throughout the game.

Players can win the game by either reaching the end of the path first, which is characterized by a beehive, or earning 1,000 nectar points from answering correctly.

Just like the card game Exploding Kittens, there’s a “Sting” card that serves as the “Defuse” or safe card whenever a player lands on a predator on the board. Each player gets only one Sting card at the beginning of the game.

Guests at their daughter’s party gave the couple positive feedback about the game and
many of them encouraged the couple to publish the game so more people can enjoy it.

For the final output of the game, Dela Cuesta consulted with several seasoned beekeepers to verify any information included in the board game.

“After careful deliberation, there were some facts that were removed and some were added. Ultimately, the goal of the game is to give players a fun experience in learning about bees while carefully strategizing their way to winning,” Dela Cuesta said.

Sting-A-Win is available for purchase at Neutral Grounds and the Gaming Library outlets nationwide.

Dela Cuesta’s interest in beekeeping started with the birth of his daughter: Nea Deborah.

The couple was originally expecting a baby boy — they even planned that his name would be Nehemiah, after the prophet Nehemiah in the Bible, which would earn him the nickname “Neo.”

However, after his wife’s check-up, they discovered that they were having a baby girl
instead.

They then had to shift their initial plans laid out for a son to accommodate a daughter. From Neo, they decided their child’s name to be “Nea” which means lustrous.

MIXING TWO CLASSICS – Alexis Dela Cuesta posing with the Sting-A-Win’s board. The game is a mix of Snake & Ladders and Exploding Kittens.

“We looked for another name to add so it won’t just be ‘Nea.’ We turned to the Bible, like we did when we first came up with Neo, and chose the name of another prophet: Deborah,” Dela Cuesta said.

For their daughter’s first birthday, the couple wanted to hold a somewhat grandiose party with a unique theme to celebrate their child’s natal day. They researched what possible motif they could follow.

“My wife looked up the name ‘Deborah’ on the internet and found out that it was a Hebrew word that means ‘bee’. We didn’t waste a minute on planning out the party. We made it as bee-inspired as possible,” Dela Cuesta said.

After holding a successful birthday party for their daughter, Dela Cuesta’s interest in bees did not wane. Rather, he became more interested in them that he attended a seminar in Lipa, Batangas about urban beekeeping.

“The lecturer told us that we can keep colonies in the city and it piqued my interest so I tried it for myself,” Dela Cuesta said.

He then bought two colonies and their houses from The Beehive Farm and Kitchen where he attended the said seminar.

Now, the two colonies sit on the roof of the Dela Cuesta home and provides the family with products such as pure, raw honey, and beeswax which the couple either sells as is or as soaps, lotions, and shampoos.

Read about how Alexis Dela Cuesta makes extra money through only two hives that he keeps on his rooftop in this month’s issue of Agriculture magazine.