Kiwanis Club of North Parkersburg hears the buzz on bees

Photo Provided The Kiwanis Club of North Parkersburg meets on Mondays at 6 p.m. at Shoney’s Restaurant. From left are Kenny Bach, Mid-Ohio Valley Beekeepers Association, and Larry Godfrey, president, Kiwanis Club of North Parkersburg.

PARKERSBURG — Kenny Bach, of the Mid-Ohio Valley Beekeepers Association, recently spoke to members of the Kiwanis Club of North Parkersburg on the importance agriculture places on honeybees for pollination.

Honeybees account for 80 percent of all insect pollination. Without such pollination, there would be a significant decrease in the yield of fruits and vegetables, Bach said.

Honeybees are not native to the United States; they are European in origin, and were brought to North America by the early settlers, he said.

Bach’s video presentation provided information on the three castes of honeybees: Queen Bee, Worker Bee and Drone Bee. There is only one Queen Bee per hive. The queen is the only bee with fully developed ovaries.

The queen bee can live for 3-5 years and mates with the drone bees. Fertilized eggs become female (worker bees) and unfertilized eggs become male (drone bees). All Worker Bees are female, but are not able to reproduce.

Worker bees live 4-9 months during winter, but only six weeks during summer months (they literally work themselves to death). The worker bee has a barbed stinger that results in her death following stinging; therefore, she can only sting once.

The drone bees (male) are kept on standby for mating with a queen bee and mating results in the death of the drone. Honey bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey.

One bee must fly 90,000 miles — three times around the globe — to make one pound of honey. The average bee will make only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man, Bach said.

Other speakers were present at the meeting. Liam Guns, a fifth-grade student and president of Kiwanis Kids, Emerson Elementary School, provided Kiwanis Club members with an overview of the Emerson K-Kids activities and projects to date. Catherine Hayes, student and president of Kiwanis Kids, Neale Elementary School, reported on the numerous ongoing community projects of the Neale K-Kids.

Chase Mayo, past president, Parkersburg High School Key Club; Nia Fernandes, past state Key Club governor; Bailey Lancaster, incoming president, and Ian Stengel, incoming vice president, PHS Key Club, gave a report on the Key Club’s recent activities at the District Convention in Morgantown.

Mandie Jones, teacher at Parkersburg South High School, Key Club adviser, and Jae Hill, Key Club treasurer, provided an update on their club’s current projects, including a blood drive on May 1.