The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 1191 held its monthly meeting Tuesday, July 9, at Asian King Buffet in Waxahachie.
The guest speaker was Lee Calvert, who spoke on bee culture and saving bees after a colony collapse. Calvert grew up in Ellis County and served five years in the Marines on active duty and three in the Reserves. After military service he returned to the Forreston area, where he and his family now farm 3,500 acres in addition to the bee and honey business. He also serves as vice president of the Ellis County Farm Bureau.
Calvert described salvaging bee swarms three to four times a week, from places such as water meters. The swarms had separated from their hive to form a new hive. He also described the functions of the various types of bees in the hive such as the queen, drones, nurse and worker bees and how the hive is organized. He described how the bee business complements the farming operation through the pollination of plants such as sunflowers and vegetables. Without honey bees approximately two-thirds of the vegetables in stores would not exist.
In October, Calvert plans to go to Canada for a workshop on bumble bees, which pollinate blueberries and cranberries. Honey from the speaker’s farm, marketed as “Bee Ninja,” is available at the Ark Country Store in Waxahachie. Follow Bee Ninja’s Facebook page for the farm at https://www.facebook.com/beeninja/
An extensive question and answer session followed the presentation on this key aspect of the world’s food supply.
NARFE Chapter 1191 covers Ellis, Navarro and adjacent parts of the surrounding counties. Membership in NARFE is open to all active and retired federal employees and their spouses, former federal employees and former spouses who are entitled to a federal survivor annuity.
For more information, call Midlothian at 972-268-5793 or 972-775-2463, Waxahachie at 469-552-6649, Ennis at 214-949-6197, Red Oak at 412-722-6307 or Corsicana at 903-874-3092.
The NARFE website is located at www.narfe.org or visit NARFE Chapter 1191 on Facebook.