The first meeting of the Damariscotta Historical Society for 2018 will be held on Monday, April 16 at the Damariscotta town office, 21 School St., Damariscotta. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. The program for the evening, on backyard honey bees and other pollinators, will be presented by Jean Vose, of Nobleboro. Vose has kept bees in her backyard for 30 years.
A beehive in the garden ensures a good seed crop and fresh honey for the table. Those who have never considered the possibility of raising bees should think of all the garden crops that rely upon pollination. Even accounting for native bee pollinators, honey bees still do much of the pollinating of fruits and vegetables in the garden. Then, of course, the honey one will harvest is the reward for keeping the garden pollinated and one’s bees healthy. Backyard beekeeping is very doable.
Not only can beekeeping be entertaining and educational, but it also can be a profitable hobby. Bees will create honey and other products for one to harvest, but if one gardens, one’s fruit and vegetable harvest will also flourish.
This slide show program will provide a brief history of beekeeping in the U.S. — how and when honey bees arrived. Vose will provide information and how-to hints on how to keep bees in one’s backyard and how to encourage other pollinators. She will introduce local pollinators, including, but not limited to, native bees, other insects, birds, butterflies, and even bats. Vose will talk about the plants needed to draw and sustain these important pollinators. Informational handouts with plant lists and other beekeeping information will be available.
Vose and her late husband, Dick, started beekeeping in 1986. They relocated to Maine in 1998 from Massachusetts. When finding no local bee school or beekeeping association in the Midcoast area, they started a school in 2001. From this school, the Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers began in 2003. Vose remains an active member of the Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers, teaching and mentoring beekeepers and exhibiting at local fairs. She is also the Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers program director. As a master gardener, she keeps busy in her yard with gardens, birds, and bees. Vose shares her yard with a rescued golden retriever named Honey.
Following the program will be a business meeting. All are welcome.