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Oklahoma State Beekeeper Association hosts Spring conference

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)- Duncan was buzzing with bee-lovers on Saturday. Nearly 150 people went to the Oklahoma State Beekeeper Association's spring conference at First Baptist Church. This was the first time in six years the event was held in Duncan. The event featured keynote speaker and YouTube sensation JP the Bee Man.

Those who enjoy the sweet taste of honey or even been stung by a bee once or twice all piled into First Baptist church for a day geared toward education and the love of bees.

Local vendors set up shop with wears specifically for bee lovers, and guests had the opportunity to hear from beekeeping experts.

12-year-old Phoenix Jones was one of those guests. She's been studying bees for a year now and did a school project on Colony Collapse Disorder. It's a phenomenon that occurs when most worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen.

Phoenix said she was excited to learn more about this area of bees and especially hear from keynote speaker and YouTube sensation "JP The Bee Man."

“He's a really good beekeeper, and he's nice,” said Phoenix. “He knows a lot about bees, and I want to learn."

Jeff Armstrong also knows as "JP The Bee Man" has been in bee business for 15 years.

He said the day was just like any other one of his showcases, to educate and entertain.

"Honey bees are useful insects,” said Armstrong. “Not every insect is a pest. Not every insect that has a stinger is dangerous. So, bees are cool, and I try to bring the public into what I do and educate them. I just try to help and have fun with it. I think that beekeeping should be a lot of fun."

Armstrong discussed catching swarms, housing bees, and bee removal.

Which is exactly what Vice President of Oklahoma State Beekeepers organization Pat Tickel had in mind for the day.

"I hope they get a better understanding," said Tickel. "And they have more success raising their bees, producing honey, and they're more comfortable about talking to other people and the importance of bees. All the way down to elementary and high school students because the young people need our knowledge passed on to them."

Armstrong offered one last piece of advice for those considering entering the business.

“A lot of what I know about bees is in the field and learning from my mistakes,” said Armstrong. “So, I always tell people to try to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them."

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved. 

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