Rhett Kelley Guest Speaker

CEBA welcomed GBA representative, Mr Rhett Kelley as their May speaker on honeybees and his activity representing the Georgia Beekeepers Association.

An EMT by profession, Mr Kelley actually attended the FUNdamentals of Beekeeping four years ago, right here at Oatland Island !!!

Now, some four years later and lot’s of experience, he is an advocate for beekeeping at many levels.  He also currently represents the GBA for the Southern District in Georgia.  Mr. Kelley shared his experience in learning about beekeeping and mentoring with Mr. Bobby Colson.  Bobby is the owner of B&G Honeyfarm out of Statesboro, GA.

We also learned how Rhett involved his whole family in the learning experience only to find one of many children was allergic to the stings.  But this didn’t stop everyone from helping out, whether it is painting hive bodies or building hive boxes.   Rhett said that a little trip to the local Dairy Queen seems to put their children into the mode to work !!

CEBA also learned that the Smith State Prision beekeeping programming has been a success in bringing the trade to the inmates. Many people were invovled including members from UGA and Young Harris Institute of Beekeeping.

Rhett reported that over the last 2-3 years, GBA members have grown from 200 to 450 members, along with participating clubs increasing from 22 clubs, to 35 clubs participating throughout Georgia.