Shelby County Beekeepers Association visits Helena Kiwanis Club

Published 2:51 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–There was plenty of buzz the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Helena Kiwanis Club thanks to a visit from a special guest with the Shelby County Beekeepers Association.

Alabama Master Beekeeper Kelley Frederick traveled to Helena to meet with Kiwanis Club members to share just how vital bees are to life, including helping provide our source of food.

“Did you enjoy the breakfast? Well, you can thank the bees because without bees we wouldn’t be here and that’s really the bottom line,” Frederick said. “They did something in this process to provide this if you think about it. The food we eat, the animals who ate the grain and at some point in time, it was probably pollinated by bees and in the process we get meat. The food such as the grapes and the strawberries and the jam the bees also have to do something to pollinate. They don’t just make honey, they do pollination as well.”

Frederick’s passion and curiosity for bees began as a young child while visiting her uncles farm where there was a row of 10 beehives. After asking what they were this spurned her interest in bees.

As time went on, Frederick heard that a beekeeping association was starting in Shelby County and after finishing the beginner class, she studied and worked to become a master beekeeper.

After discussing her own journey of becoming a master beekeeper, Frederick gave insight on how to get started in beekeeping and what the three most important things are.

“Well you have to have an interest in beekeeping and when people ask me how to get started I tell them there’s a three-part process,” Frederick said. “One is to attend a beekeeping class and go through the whole class. Just about every county has a class and it’s about seven weeks. The second part would be to attend your local beekeeping meeting kind of like what you’re doing here. The reason is because you have a group of new beekeepers that know nothing about it and you have instructors where everyone is learning together. You go to the meeting and then you see diversity. The third thing is to get a mentor to help you one-on-one to ease into looking in the hive and going through it. You can take a class and look at slides but when you have a mentor that has kept bees for at least three years they will go through the hive and say this is the queen, this is the pollen, they’re about to swarm and so on. That’s what a beekeeper does is manage bees. That’s really the three-step part.”

Throughout her presentation Frederick answered questions and even brought honey products for Kiwanis members to purchase at the conclusion of the meeting.

For more information on the Shelby County Beekeepers Association, visit