In recognition of National Honeybee Day, Aug. 31, 2017, residents and associates of Life Care Center of Morristown, Tennessee, experienced the art of beekeeping through a presentation by David Gagnon, director of rehab.
Having been a honeybee hobbyist, or apiarist, for approximately 27 years, Gagnon explained the life and habits of honeybees and demonstrated using several of the necessary tools of the trade.
Residents and staff listened intently, as evidenced by the many questions concerning this little-understood profession. For example, they wondered about honey extraction, benefits of using honey, radar system of honeybees, exclusive jobs of members of a honeybee colony, importance of bee pollination and the fact that honeybees are becoming endangered because of modern chemicals and pesticides.
After the discussion, residents savored a taste of Gagnon’s own East Tennessee wildflower honey extracted from some of his colonies. Prior to living in Tennessee, Gagnon operated an apiary more than 20 colonies strong in Florida yielding orange blossom and gallberry honey.
“Honey doesn’t just taste good and get used as a preservative because it never goes bad,” said Gagnon. “It has many health benefits and medicinal uses as well, all of which earned the slang term for honey as ‘liquid gold.’”
Residents then shared a few laughs as they were given the opportunity to try on a beekeepers’ hat and veil for a photo opp.
“I really enjoyed the presentation and learned so much about bees that I never knew,” said resident Mary Laster.