Saturday, June 13, 2009

Outdoor Bee Meeting

I belong to the Worcester County Beekeeper Association (which, by the way, is the country’s oldest association of hobbyist beekeepers, established in 1900 and has 400 members today) and during the summer months they have outdoor meetings. Today (Sat.) was a meeting held at one of the member's house to discuss keeping you hive at peak strength during the summer months. The person doing the demonstration was Ken Warchol, who is the Worcester County Bee Inspector, and goes by the nickname "the Bee Whisperer." He never wears any bee suits or veils, and almost never gets stung. That's him in the picture above. He is a legend in the region - here's a newspaper article talking about him. He knows everything there is to know about bees, as he has been keeping bees all his life.

The club member whose house we were at had 4 hives, and some of them have been through a lot including some problems. Ken opened up each hive and discussed how the bees are doing, and what to look for and how to fix the problems. The main problems currently with 3 of the 4 hives had to do with not feeding them enough. They hadn't brought in enough nectar to really thrive, and the queen won't lay eggs if she feels there isn't enough food. Not enough eggs = not enough workers, and it won't get better. So instead of worrying about getting honey, he should feed them to get them up to strength.

Here are some other pictures. Note how brave Ken is! In the 2nd he is pointing out the queen. The 4th picture is cute - it was a little boy in a bee suit, and his sleeves were taped up so no bees could get in!

The event also was a historical tour of the Shaker village in Harvard, MA - this person's property was one of the original Shaker settlements in New England. here are some pictures of the grounds. The falling-down stone building is a Shaker barn from the 1830's. The roof blew off in 1970, and it has been slowly disintegrating since then.

At one time about 70 members of the Shaker community lived in this communal house:

1 comment:

  1. Great recap of the meeting - would've loved to have attended!


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