Yesterday was the January meeting of the Worcerster County Beekeepers Association. I hadn't been to a meeting since October, as for November and December I had conflicts for those meeting dates.
That night's meeting was a dinner meeting (always a good affair, as beekeepers love to eat!), and we had a special presentation by Loree Burns, who wrote a book The Hive Detective. The book is a science-oriented book geared toward children (6-14), and discusses the Colony Collapse Disease (CCD) problem facing bees.
Her presentation wasn't about the book itself; instead it was about what she learned while researching the book. It turns out some people in the WCBA were instrumental in helping her with the book. Loree isn't a beekeeper herself (yet, she says), but she has attended bee school in the past, and thinks someday that she would like to be a beekeeper.
The presentation was extremely interesting, and what I found fascinating is some of her observations coming from an "outsider" to the beekeeping community. Some of the things she said she learned:
- Bees are not scary. That's the first impression that kids and adults have when they hear about bees - the stinger!
- Bees are fascinating. The biology and social structure of bees and beehives is very interesting
- Honey is good for everything. You can use it in most cooking
- Beekeepers are passionate. They love to share their knowledge and are very selfless about it.
She ended the presentation with a quote: "Keeping bees is an art, a gift, an obsession... and a mighty fine way to spend an afternoon."
Before and after the meeting she was selling copies of her book and signing them if people wanted (I didn't pick up a copy for myself there). Another member of the club donated 3 fully functioning beehives (with bees) to use for raffles, and tonight was the first raffle for one of the hives (the bees are available for pickup in April; obviously the winter isn't a good time to move beehives!). I bought some tickets, but the Christensen luck holds true and I didn't win.
It was good to see people I hadn't seen for a while at the club. This year has some exciting events planned; I'll post details on the WCBA Facebook Fan page later.