Beekeepers Swarm to Excelsior Springs’ First Club Meeting

Chris Summers welcomes attendees to the first meeting of the Excelsior Springs Area Beekeeping Club (submitted photo).

The Excelsior Springs Area Beekeeping Club, a new venture dedicated to the fascinating world of apiculture, had its inaugural meeting on January 25, 2024, at the Mid-Continent Public Library in Excelsior Springs. The club was founded by the Summers family, best known for their local honey brand, Hitch Hive Honey, in response to the increasing interest in beekeeping and the need for a local community of enthusiasts and experts.

Despite modest expectations, the meeting room buzzed with excitement as more chairs were brought in to accommodate the attendees. The Facebook event had indicated a fair amount of interest, but the turnout far exceeded initial hopes. Sixteen people, a mix of seasoned beekeepers and curious newcomers, gathered to share their experiences and learn from one another.

Among them were notable local beekeepers like Mr. T’s Bees, who runs about 30 hives and is a familiar face at the Liberty Farmers Market, and others with years of experience in the craft. They were joined by newcomers, some freshly retired and looking for a new hobby, and others simply intrigued by the world of bees.

The meeting began with introductions, where attendees shared their experience and interest in beekeeping. The Summers said their vision for the club was to create a local platform where experienced beekeepers and beginners could exchange ideas, seek guidance, and potentially find mentorship. Dawn Summers said she often felt overwhelmed with the number of interested individuals reaching out to Hitch Hive Honey for guidance, and she hopes the club can help bridge this gap.

The meeting’s agenda included discussions about the upcoming beekeeping season. Chris Summers discussed some common myths about hive maintenance in colder weather and emphasized the importance of monitoring the hives for food supplies throughout the year. He also advised the members to watch for early pollen sources, like maples, signaling the onset of spring.

The club aims not just to share knowledge and experiences but to build a tight-knit community within the larger one of Excelsior Springs. It hopes to be a melting pot for people with varied goals in beekeeping, from hobbyists to commercial sellers, and to foster a cooperative rather than competitive environment.

Dawn passionately spoke about the profound benefits and impact of beekeeping. She described beekeeping as a learning journey that never ceases to amaze her. She added that, for some, beekeeping can be a therapeutic experience, likening the calming effect of working with bees to a form of natural therapy.

Looking forward, the club plans to meet on the fourth Thursday of each month, with the next meeting scheduled for February 22nd at 6:30 pm at the Excelsior Springs Branch of the Mid-Continent Library. In the meantime, check out their Facebook Group, Excelsior Springs Area Beekeeping Club, to learn how you can join in on the fun.

Bees in hibernation at Hitch Hive (submitted photo).

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