Library to host sessions on little things of life: bees

Jim Baumgart  Sheboygan County Supervisor

Although they come in different sizes, bees overall tend to be small. And, as is often said, the little things in life can and do play an important and even vital roll in our everyday life. We take some of these small creatures for granted or don’t pay enough attention to what are the effects that results from our indifference to them. Bees, as it turns out, are small but critical players in providing for the pollination of plants that allows a major produc- tion in the foods we eat.

As it turns out, major population losses of bees have been taking place in recent years. Beekeepers from the United States and other places around the world are reporting incredible loss of honeybees, a phenomenon deemed “Colony Collapse Disorder.” Continued loss of bees could have major ramifications and effects in our ability to raise crops that require pollination by bees and other insects. It is a danger and one society, scientists and community leaders need to pay attention.

Mead Public Library will bring three special programs on bees to Sheboygan County over the next few weeks. The first is a documentary screening of film called “Queen of the Sun”. It will be shown in the Rocca Meeting Room at the Mead Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m. This 82 minute film features world renowned biodynamic beekeeper Gunther Hauk, New York Times best selling-author Michael Pollan, Indian Activist Vandana Shiva and others from around the world. It is a film that raises questions and requires some thought about how we do things.

The second program on bees will be presented by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts & Letters as one of their outstanding and professional “Academy Evening” programs. It will be held at the Mead Public Library, Rocca Meeting Room, on Tuesday, Oct. 15, starting at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Hannah Gaines Day, PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The title of her program is called “The Bee Crisis and Wisconsin: what’s the Role of Native Bees?”. Her knowledge of the subject on bees is exceptional.

The third program, called “Backyard Beekeeping”, to be presented at the Mead Public Library, Rocca Meeting Room, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. The guest speaker is Kurt Vollmer, a beekeeper from Sheboygan County for the past seven years, who has been on Milwaukee’s Fox 6 morning show, published in “Birds and Blooms” magazine and is pursuing his Master Beekeeping certification from the University of Florida. He will cover a variety of topics including: the history of beekeeping, basic honey bee biology, tools of the trade, and how to start and manage a hive in rural and urban settings. If you have ever thought about starting a bee colony, you will also want to attend this program.

Farmers and others who are seeing or fear a decrease in production of fruit and vegetables will likely want to come to one or more of these programs. Individuals who would like to continue to improve their flower and backyard vegetable gardens should certainly consider coming. The last two programs may be important for those who wish to ask questions directly, having PhD candidate highly skilled on the subject and a beekeeper with seven years experience would certainly meet everyone’s question and answer needs. All the programs listed are free but free donations will be accepted.

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