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Buzzing with excitement
Lisa Hobbs photo Highland Rim Beekeepers Association held its annual social Saturday. Approximately 30 people gathered to talk about one of the most important creatures on the planet.

Why did the bee go to the dermatologist? It had hives.

Honeybees and hives were the focus of Saturday’s get-together of the Highland Rim Beekeepers Association. The association aims to educate, inform and share ideas about keeping bees. Club members teach the trade in an effort to revive a dying art and help honeybees repopulate.
Group members hold monthly meetings and the socials are open to everyone, current beekeepers and bee-ginners alike, as a way to pollinate a passion for bees.

“Bees are important to the environment,” said John Sain, association president. “They cross-pollinate and many plants are entirely dependent on particular kinds of bees for their reproduction. Honeybees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops.”

The use of insecticides for agricultural pest control has created the unwelcome side effect of killing the bees necessary for maintaining crops. Such environmental stresses, plus several species of parasitic mites, devastated honeybee populations in the United States beginning in the 1980s.

Sain added, “We want to educate people about honeybees and the importance of them. The best way to do that is to get together and encourage people to join us. We occasionally have a guest speaker at our monthly meetings. Once a year, we like to have a social event. It’s usually held at someone’s house and we inspect their hives. That’s what we’re doing today.”

Members strive to dispel misconceptions about all bees as dangerous.

“Each and every time I’ve gotten stung, I’ve known why,” said Sain. “Honeybees are usually very docile. They don’t want to sting you. Once I was mowing and they went crazy. Usually I can mow right up next to the hive and they ignore me. This time they started pinging me and flying around. I inspected the hive and there was no queen. When the hive is queen-less, they get restless. She keeps everyone on task. Education is the key to understanding their nature.”

Honeybees are the only bees to die after stinging.

The association’s meetings offer visitors information about how to handle the hive, how to tell if the hive has swarmed, how to cultivate a hive and collect its honey, how to wear proper safety gear and more.

Individuals interested in learning more about Highland Rim Beekeepers Association are encouraged to attend a monthly meeting or visit The club meets every month on the second Thursday at 6 p.m. at Warren County Administrative Offices in the Magnolia Room.

Saturday’s social was held at the home of association member Danny Cummings.

Her husband, James Coldwell, confronted the suspect and tried to push him out the front door. However, Malone was able to shut the front door and lock it, forcing Mr. Coldwell to take action to subdue him.

It is not known why Malone grabbed the elderly man from his front porch and why he entered the home, although it appears he was not thinking clearly.

“Malone made several statements about people following him and trying to hurt him and he needed a safe place to hide,” said police officer Austin Edwards in his report. “Malone stated he took the man inside to protect him from the people.”