THE SRCC TOPICS@TWELVE lunch and networking event was held in the new Owosso Armory on Tuesday, June 26. Guest speaker for the event was David Anthony of Anthony Bee Farms/AWS Bees, LLC out of Swartz Creek.
For over 30 years, Anthony has worked to become a honeybee expert, while still working other jobs such as the decades he spent at General Motors. In pursuing his bee passion, Anthony has also become an advocate for protecting these incredibly important and arguably intelligent pollinators. As he shared during Topics@Twelve, bees contribute to the production of 90 commercially grown agricultural crops.
In discussing honey, Anthony stated that, as a product, honey will never grow bad and it can often be used as an aid in the treatment of minor wounds, poison ivy or even for acid reflux. If honey does crystallize, never microwave it, but instead just slowly heat up the jar in water on the stove. Also, never refrigerate honey.
Some other facts he explained included that bees generally only live for 45 days during the summer, but can live up to eight months in the winter, which is ultimately due to the fragility of their wings and how much more flying they do in summer months. Also, in the pollination process, one bee will visit the same flower six or more times and they accomplish this feat through memory and smell. A bee’s sense of smell is 180,000 times more sensitive than a dog’s, and beyond that, they are even known to share their knowledge of particular patches of flowers/plants with the rest of the hive.
As for honeybees, they are not aggressive and do not want to sting you. If they sting you, the bee will die within 15 minutes of the stinging.
At this time, Michigan does not recognize beekeeping as a form of agriculture though that has already occurred in many states.
More information is available at www.awsbeesllc.com. Anthony is very receptive to visits from classrooms and 4-H groups.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)