Thursday, December 5th an unusual meeting is taking place as the members of Wiregrass Beekeepers Association join forces with the state apiarists from Alabama and Florida to train the Wiregrass's first responders in emergency protocol for Africanized Honey Bees (AHB).
Several area agencies and businesses have come together to help make this possible. (list below). Africanized bees, often called “killer bees” are a hybrid bee that was first found in this country in 1985 and are spread over most of the southern United States. They are considered a threat to both man and beast because of their excessive defensive behavior. The class will train our emergency first responders to safely handle any calls of this type.
Hard learned experience in other states has taught the beekeeping community that the best defense against AHB is a good strong offense – a healthy thriving population of gentle managed bees. Wiregrass Beekeepers has been quietly working to train and equip beekeepers to this end for many years now. Because the AHB are so close to Alabama now, this workshop is a proactive next step so that our community is not caught unprepared in the event of an emergency of this nature.
The meeting will take place at the Houston County Health Department on Cottonwood Road from 8am to 12 pm. Speakers are Dennis Barclift, Alabama's State Apiarist, David Westervelt, Florida's State Apiarist and Randy Hamaan, a Dothan Native with Alabama's Department of Agriculture and Industries.