Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

March 30, 2012

Beeconomy

Earning from beekeeping is topic of meeting in Carter

ASHLAND — As part of its ongoing efforts to create a buzz about beekeeping in northeastern Kentucky, the Little Sandy Beekeepers Club and the Carter County Extension Office are bringing an expert to Carter County to discuss how to earn money from keeping bees.

The fact that the expert is a woman whose educational background is far removed from keeping bees may actually increase interest in the meeting, set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Carter County Extension Building on the old county fairgrounds on U.S. 60 just east of Grayson. After all, the last thing many women want to do is be around a bunch of honey bees. For that matter, many men also get more than a little nervous around bees and have little interest in placing beehives on their property.

But Tammy Horn, who earned a doctorate in 20th century literature in 1997 at the University of Alabama, started learning about bees when she volunteered to assist her grandfather in his apiaries after earning her doctorate.

While teaching in English, general studies and Appalachian studies departments in Alabama and Kentucky, she wrote “Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation.” She will be signing copies of her new book, “Beeconomy,” and talking about what women and bees can teach about local trade and global markets.

In 2008, Horn joined the Environmental Research Institute at Eastern Kentucky University, consulting with surface mine companies to develop pollinator-friendly reforestation methods on coal mine sets and establishing Coal Country Beeworks. Horn is working on a third book of the bee triology about the future of bees and reforestation.

Members of the Little Sandy Beekeepers Club — a relatively new organization — are convinced beekeeping can be a good and dependable source of income for area property owners. Apiaries not only create honey that can be sold on the global market, but through their pollination efforts, bees also help other crops flourish. While few of us like honey bees to be buzzing around at picnics, the positives of bees far, far exceed the negatives.

We encourage those seeking new ways to earn money to attend Tuesday’s meeting. It is a great opportunity to hear from a expert about how to make bees a part of the  local economy.

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