Keeping the bees in Coweta
Keeping hives of bees is an enjoyable activity for a growing number of Cowetans.
Local beekeepers are passionate about caring for their hives, rescuing beehives that wind up in public places and harvesting and sharing honey. They also play a role in keeping a wide range of foods on our tables.
Bees pollinate plants – including many that grow food humans eat. Research at Michigan State University indicates bees are responsible for about a third of all food on the planet.
According to a recent article in The Christian Science Monitor, “bees play a crucial role in agriculture everywhere and represent an irreplaceable link in food production.”
The Coweta Beekeepers Association recently held a training session for new beekeepers at the apiary of Tom and Linda Jennings.
“Talk about perfect timing,” said the day’s instructor, Steve Page. “The Jennings had just received two nucs and one package that the participants were able to see installed. They’d also caught a swarm two days earlier and another hive was about to swarm, so everyone was able to see a swarm trap and a hive division. It was great.”
As an extra attraction, Linda Jennings displayed some of her painted supers – the boxes in which bees live.
“I did it for fun,” she said, “but I also did it to encourage some of the less interested wives into joining their husbands in their beekeeping endeavors. I love to see husbands and wives doing things together.”
“Adults are not the only members of CBA,” said Bobby Torbush, the club’s president. “It’s such a thrill to see so many kids learning to become full-fledged beekeepers. They’re smart and they go after it with such gusto. It’s a pure pleasure for our organization to help train them.”
“Both the kids and adults have a great time raising bees,” added Page, “but raising bees is serious business. Without bees, this nation has no food. We’re a critical part of keeping this nation fed.”
CBA meets on the second Monday of each month at the Coweta County Extension Office, which is located near the Coweta County Fairgrounds at 275 Pine Road. The Junior/4H Beekeepers meet at 5 p.m., and the main meeting will be held from 7-9 p.m.
Experienced professional beekeepers speak on relevant topics. For those who have personal questions concerning their own hives, time is provided before and after each meeting.
Meetings will be held Monday. For information, contact Bobby or Karen Torbush at Torbushspringsfarm@gmail.com.