The Westport Woman's Club

September 2012


 

Leslie Huston, Eastern Apicultural Society Master Beekeeper and past President of Connecticut’s Back Yard Beekeepers Association helped the WWC kick-off their 2012-2013 year sharing her expertise and insights on the bee-havior of the honeybee.

Mankind has had a sweet tooth for millennium, and beekeeping for honey has been traced back to 2400 BC Egypt and earlier.  Early settlers introduced honeybees in the U.S. from Europe in 1621 so they would have a local source for the sweetener, as well as the beeswax used for candles and furniture polish.  The bees colonized their way across the country and now play a critical role in our agriculture as pollinators helping to increase the yield of fruits and vegetables.

Three castes of bees make up the hive, and each group functions as part of a highly organized society.  Each the Queen Bee, the Worker Bee and the Drone Bee have distinct roles within the hive, building, protecting and nourishing their colony.  The European honeybees are docile, gentle and interesting creatures that are threatened by disease, mites, chemicals and the negative association with African “killer bees.”

Ms. Huston encourages everyone to enjoy honeybee products that are locally sourced and find out more about beekeeping as a hobby.  Learn more at www.backyardbeekeepers.com and www.bee-commerce.com.