The Clubhouse was buzzing with Community Members when local honey bee expert, Bruce Snavely, arrived to give his presentation. He is a member of the Beekeepers Association of the Ozarks, a non-profit organization founded in 1974. Bee keeping is more than just a hobby to Bruce. He works with Missouri State and teaches groups of students in their Conservation program and helps them set up hives and learn about bee sustainability. The honey bee was just placed on the “endangered” list.
Bruce also teaches and trains across the globe. He traveled to both India and Africa and helped poor communities learn how to raise bees for their honey, as well as a way for them to financially support their families. His next trip is in 10 days when he heads to Guatemala to help a group of 250 women and children who live in a shelter start their hives.
One of the most fascinating parts of his presentation to our Community was the information about bees during swarming season. Bruce is on an emergency call list for businesses as well as individuals in the area. Anyone can call for assistance if they have a large “swarm” appear on their property.
This happens from March until around May when the hives get too full of worker bees and an extra queen hatches. The bees divide the hive and a new group is formed that go looking for a new place to settle in. He loves to catch the swarms and take them home to fill up one of his empty hives. Buying enough bees to fill a hive costs around $150.00 so when he catches the swarms he gets “free bees” and helps the community in the process.
The program ended with a sweet treat! Bruce brought samples of his honey for everyone to taste. The Community Members agreed that they appreciate how much effort goes into making honey by Nature’s busy bees and will never waste a drop!