The program, “Honey Bees — Busy Pollinating and Making Honey,” was given by Lamon, a local beekeeper. After watching a short film about beekeeping, Lamon talked to the group about his beehives — giving facts and explaining there are still many discoveries to be made about bees. He said his beekeeping goes back to his father and grandfather. Today he has 20 hives which produce approximately 100 gallons of honey each year. The honey is sold at the Lamon Farm on Michigan venue Road.
Pollination is the most important thing a honeybee does. They account for 80 percent of all insect pollination. Without the transfer of pollen from plant to plant, the food supply would not be the same. A honeybee makes a contribution to every third bite we eat. It is the only insect that produces something humans can eat.
Lamon had a frame of bees between glass so the garden members could observe the bee activities up close. There are three kinds of honey bees: queen, drones and workers. There is only one queen per hive. This queen can lay up to 1,200 eggs a day. The workers are female bees, but cannot lay fertile eggs. Their job is to collect the nectar and bring it back to the hive.
A beehive may consist of 6,000 bees. A beekeeper will add supers to the hive for the collection of the honey. Each super has up to 10 frames which have cells for the nectar. After the cells are filled with honey, the bees seal the frame with wax. This is called comb. The comb can be placed in a jar of honey or the wax can be cut from the honey and made into beeswax. Products such as candles and cosmetics are made from beeswax.
Lamon, dressed in a protective jacket and hood, showed the group how he smokes a hive and removes the frame of honey. He then used a hot knife to remove the wax that seals the honey, put the frame in a spinner to retrieve the honey in the cells of the frame, stained the honey and put it into a jar. This is known as raw honey. It has more health benefits than pasteurized honey.
The heat of pasteurization destroys many of the good enzymes in the honey. The color of the honey is determined by the plant from which the nectar is collected. The darker the honey, the stronger the flavor.
Each member was given an opportunity to taste honey. Then each was given a jar of honey to take home.
After the program Elsie Yates gave the secretary’s report and Sue Taylor gave the treasurer’s report. Fredricka Lawson conducted the business meeting. Everyone enjoyed looking at flower specimens brought by members from their yards.
District IV will have a flower show Sept. 28 at the Concord Methodist Church in Farragut.
Other members attending the meeting were Erma Brewer, Nancy Frey, Judy Jordan, Annette Stanbery, Bess Neil, Brenda Nakdimen, Sheila Webb, Patsy Bettis and guest Sam Bettis.