On a January night some years back, local beekeeper, Dennis Herrmann and his wife Susan, came out on a night threatened with inclement weather to speak to the Posey Green Group. Dennis brought with him hives and other equipment he uses plus a tremendous amount of knowledge about the care of bees that he has learned since starting his business in 1996.
Susan brought samples of the creations she wrought from the industrious bee products of wax and honey. It was a sweet evening.
Did you know that bees are docile when they swarm but are aggressive while in the hive? Or that bees make a glue substance called propolis that they use to stop up holes in the hive and glue stacked hives together? Bees even use this sticky substance to cover and enclose invading wasp nests. Susan stated that propolis is not easy to get off doorknobs either!
Dennis talked about colony collapse disorder (CCD) and said that it is caused by a number of things but that a virus from Australia may be the major cause. The varroa mite carries disease that also causes hive collapse. Dennis showed the group a grid used to count the mites so that he is aware when treatment is necessary.
And this is only a small amount of the information shared with us at the meeting. Bees are fascinating creatures and our community is fortunate to have a couple who put long hours and effort into keeping these vitally important insects alive. If you want learn more about bees or wish to purchase some locally grown honey (that helps alleviate allergies common to this area) or any of a number of other homemade bee-related items, call the Big Creek Honey Farm at 812-783-1402.
©Ann Rains, February, 2018
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