Submitted by Debbie Moody
The Town and Country Garden Club met April 17, 2014 in the home of Frances Pierce with Shirley Hawkins serving as Co-hostess.
The meeting was called to order by President Sandra Culwell. Mrs. Bobbye Mills gave the inspiration entitled “Watching with Jesus” which was inspired by the Bible passage from Matthew 26: 36-46. This inspiration encouraged the club to have watchful eyes to the needs of others and put action to the needs we see. Roll call was given and there were thirteen members and one guest present.
President Culwell then called on Debbie Moody to introduce the guest speaker, Steve Jernigan, a local beekeeper. Steve gave an informal presentation of Beekeeping. Steve’s interest of bees began when he was just a very young man. Growing up on a farm presented him many opportunities to get acquainted with bees. His knowledge of bees comes from a long process of experience and study of the honeybee. The honeybee hives have long provided humans with honey and beeswax. Honey was even found in the tomb of King Tut. It takes ten pounds of honey to make just one pound of wax. A hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles, the equivalent of three orbits around the earth, to collect 2.2 pounds of nectar to produce honey. Honeybees are social and cooperative insects. They are even given to dancing which is a means of communicating.
A hive’s inhabitants are generally divided into three types of bees; workers, queen, and drones. The workers are female bees. Their primary job is to provide food, which consist of pollen and nectar from flowers, build and protect the hive, and clean, along with many other functions. Workers live for 4-9 months during the winter season, but only 6 weeks during the busy summer months. The average worker bee will produce 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
The queen’s job is simple. She lays the eggs that will make the next generation of bees. Usually there is only a single queen in a hive. Queens also regulate the hive’s activities by producing chemicals that guide the behavior of the other bees. During the summer months, a queen bee can lay up to 25,000 eggs per day. If the queen dies, another queen must take her place. A queen will kill all queen cells except the one she chooses to take her place.
The drones are male bees that are considered the lazy class of the hive. Their sole job is to mate with the queen. They may be expelled from the hive for their laziness.
The harvest of honey usually takes place in June depending on the honey flow. A smoker is used to calm the bees down and causes them to make more honey.
Steve told that the most common problem he finds that affects the hive is an infestation of mites. Mites can be controlled through a treatment process. Colony Collapse Disorder is a new and mysterious occurrence being found in colonies of bees. When this occurs, the worker bees abruptly leave the hive.
In concluding the program Steve showed components of a bee hive, equipment, and clothing used when harvesting and maintaining the hive.
After the program, President Culwell preceded the meeting by asking for the reading of the minutes of the March meeting. Minutes were read by Debbie Moody, Secretary, and were accepted as read. Dale Shumaker gave the treasure report and gave a list of the organizations to which the club had made donations. In the area of new business, Garden Therapy chairman, France Pierce brought to the floor a project to weed and plant new plant material at the Winston County Nursing Home. Noneine Keen made a motion to accept the project and Debbie Moody seconded the motion. Elaine Thompson reported that in the area of our Adopt-a-Park project that the azalea bed at Legion Park needed some care. Members will meet at the park on May 5th at 2 pm to cut back undergrowth. Elaine asked for volunteers to provide cookies and brownies for the participants in the Fishing Rodeo at Legion Park on May 3rd. Volunteers were: Frances Pierce, Sandra Culwell, and Debbie Moody. Cookies and brownies are to be dropped off at Elaine’s house the day before the Rodeo. Elaine also presented the Blue Star Memorial Award that the club received at Nationals for placing second in the state.
For the horticulture presentation, Sandra Culwell chose a stem from her holly tree. The evergreen holly is deciduous and will not lose its leaves over the winter. There are more than 400 different species of holly. The English holly (llex aquifolium) is the most commonly type with its characteristic dark-green glossy spiked leaves and bright red berries. Holly bushes thrive with plenty of sun. Acidic soil is best, although they are a resilient plant wherever you place them. They do require cross-pollination so you need to have a male and female plant, but they need to be planted within 30 feet of each other. Usually only the female hollies will produce berries but the male holly will produce sweet fragrance flowers while the female flowers are almost scentless. Prune in the early spring or summer. Sandra cautioned that the berries are harmful to humans so do not plant in areas where children might be tempted to consume.
Frances Pierce presented two displays for the flower design. One was a single lavender mum in a tall clear cylinder container with synthetic pastel Easter eggs at the base. The other design consists of pink and white azaleas in a sphere design on a pedestal container. Both were absolutely gorgeous and very appropriate for Easter entertaining.
President Culwell announced the forthcoming of several garden tours in the Jackson area, the State Convention in Columbus April 21st through the 24th, and also the Southern Pines District Meeting on May 20th in Bay Springs. The May Luncheon will be held at the home of Noneine Keene on May 15th. The meeting was then adjourned and all members enjoyed refreshments provided by the Hostess and Co-hostess.