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home : business : business May 24, 2016


5/6/2014 12:17:00 PM
Bee seminar makes for a sweet day
Chris Liddell handing a box of bees to 5-year-old Addie Severson of Tumalo.  photo by Sue Anderson
+ click to enlarge
Chris Liddell handing a box of bees to 5-year-old Addie Severson of Tumalo. photo by Sue Anderson

By Jim Anderson
Correspondent

What a honey of day it was in Sisters last Saturday! Approximately 400 people from throughout Central Oregon descended on the Liddell Honey Bee Yard in the industrial park like a swarm of bees. In fact, that's what they were in town for: to learn about bees, buy their bees and get going as bee-keepers.

Five-year-old Addie Severson from Tumalo showed up at the yard, eager to see what she was buying with her own money and what she could learn to get into the honey business.

Several months back, Addie and her dad, Jeff, were counting up her savings from working in the family's dairy, and found there was more money than they thought. That started Jeff thinking of all the things she could do with it (toys, clothes etc.) - but she said she wanted to get some bees and sell honey. So, Addie ordered her bees from Liddell's and picked them up Saturday.

Addie had never been stung until last Monday morning (her parents knew it was just a matter of time). When they asked her how it happened she explained (through tears) that she was rescuing some bees from red ants, picked them up so the ants wouldn't get them - and was stung for her kindness. Did that slow her down? Not on your life! She's enjoying getting started with her bees.

Perhaps the crowd that started rolling into the bee yard bright and early had the same thing in mind, and Peter, brother Chris, mom Debbie, brother Eric, his wife Trish and son, Josh were ready for them. The day before, they loaded up their horse trailer with around 300 boxes of bees that the bee enthusiasts had ordered.

The bee-day got rolling at 8:30 a.m. when Peter donned his bee jacket with the attached hood and veil, and began the process of teaching the first 200 or so people the proper method of installing bees in their Langstroth hive. He did it again at 10:30 a.m.

Peter set the tone right off the bat by telling a story about installing bees without protection, which is what he and most bee-keepers do most of the time. European honeybees (there are no native "honey bees" in North America, they were brought to the U.S. with the first colonists at Jamestown in 1612) are by-and-large peaceful creatures.

But Peter told about a box of bees that were in a bad mood; when he started to install them in their new home, he was stung thoroughly about the face and hands.

All the participants were paying close attention as he went through the process, step-by-step, answering many questions in the process.

When Ahja Camden of Redmond started gardening, she noticed bees coming into her flowering plants. The woman who owned the Camden property had a bee hive on the place and left it when she moved to Idaho, and the thought struck Ahja and her husband, "If one bee hive is good, two should be better." They went back to Redmond with their starter kit from Liddell's.

Marla Jo Hardy, a personal trainer who believes in "training hard, eating smart and playing often," went home with two boxes of bees, eager to install them (now that she knew how) and get the honey flowing into her life.

And so the day went: People learning about the value of pollinators in so much of what we grow for food. With the alarming drop in our native pollinators - especially the bumblebees - anyone interested in the value of fruit as a food product are keeping bees to ensure crop production.









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