AUBURN — The Woman’s Literary Union Garden Club will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at the clubhouse, 19 Elm St. The featured speaker will be Roy Cronkhite, a second-generation beekeeper who has worked with bees for many years.

Cronkhite is from the southern part of Livermore Falls which once had mostly active farmland. His primary reason for learning to be a beekeeper was when he found out that mankind manages practically all existing honey bees in the U.S. As a way of giving back to nature, he decided to do what he could to pollinate the area where he grew up and lives today.

Cronkhite maintains hives on a number of people’s land where he barters pollination of local gardens with a fresh supply of pollen and nectar with which to feed his bees. He is extremely careful with the management of his colonies so that they do not worry or endanger his neighbors and the general public. This method of handling bees is called Best Management Practices. Cronkhite believes strongly in sustainability and is busy trying to assist small gardeners and growers by offering small-scale pollination from his company, Pleasant Valley Bees.

Cronkhite is an active member of several beekeeping organizations and is serving as president for the Maine State Beekeepers Association. He has served on the MSBA board of directors for a number of years and he received the Beekeeper of the Year Award in 2008.

The public is welcome to the program. Anyone who is interested in additional information about bees, beekeeping, pollination or instruction is encouraged to contact him at [email protected] or at home at 897-4043.

Refreshments will be served. Jeanne Pacheco is in charge of hospitality.

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