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Beekeeping group to be established inAlbany

Photo by Barry Levine

Photo by Barry Levine

ALBANY -- After an appeal was made to determine the interest members of the community had in establishing a beekeeping group, the community responded.

Kathy Brinson and Richard Grebel hosted a meeting of interested parties in The Candy Room on Pine Avenue last week, after which it was determined that such a group would be forming in the Albany area.

"I'm thrilled to see so many people here," Brinson said to the nearly two dozen people present.

The intended formation of this group comes a little more than a month after 73-year-old Curtis Davis of Dougherty County died after an Africanized honeybee attack.

Davis dislodged the bees while moving debris with a bulldozer on Williamsburg Road on Oct. 11.

"It took them 15 minutes to shut off the bulldozer; the smoke and vibrations irritated the bees," Grebel said. "They weren't initially thought to be the Africanized strain."

The Georgia Department of Agriculture issued an announcement on Oct. 21 confirming the bees from the incident were indeed the Africanized strain, the first record of them in the state.

"I think the bees got here from a piece of equipment or a hose in a piece of machinery brought up here," Grebel theorized. "You can have a whole swarm in there and not know it."

The purpose of the meeting was to not only guage interest, but to discuss the organization of the club -- an effort that will include the establishment of bylaws, programs, meeting schedules and dues. A handful of volunteers have formed a committee to help get that process moving.

The club will also have officers -- which will consist of a president, vice president, secretary/treasurer and three directors. The group is planning to expand their membership to include people from throughout Southwest Georgia.

The group has yet to establish a name.

The meetings will likely be held either on a Monday or Tuesday on a monthly basis starting in January.

For additional information, call (229) 435-5115 or e-mail kbrinson@bellsouth.net.