Worker bees are called worker bees for a very good reason. To make a pound of honey, worker bees travel 55,000 miles and visit two million flowers! These and other amazing facts came to light in the program presented to Vermillion Rotary by member Dan Van Peursem, who has spent several years enjoying the hobby of beekeeping. But multiply these figures by the average 100 pounds of honey produced by the 15-45,000 bees in a single hive in South Dakota each summer, and you begin to understand how busy bees really are. Queen bees are no slouches either. They lay about 1,500 eggs per day for most of the year, resting only during the months with the shortest daylight hours. Multiply that times 270 days a year for the three-year lifespan of a queen bee, and you don't even want to think about her total offspring, each of which will produce about one-fourth of a teaspoon of honey during its working life.
Following the noon meal in the Freedom Forum on the USD campus that featured self-constructed submarine sandwiches, Tuesday's meeting was opened by President Rev. David Hussey, who also led in prayer. Songs were led by Joe Edelen with Larry Schou providing piano accompaniment. Following the introduction of guests and some good-natured fining of certain members, Dr. Van Peursem, who is chairman of the mathematics department at USD, presented his interesting program.
South Dakota is one of the three largest honey-producing states in the nation, with California the leading producer. This is because of California's intense irrigated farming areas. It is the largest user of bees to pollinate crops, with almonds being the leading user of bees for pollination.
With the influx of aggressive African bees from Mexico in 1990, and the present somewhat mysterious hive collapse malady, the California farmer now pays $140 per hive for pollinating bees, up from $60 per hive a few years ago. Thus the largest income for bee-keepers is not the sale of honey but rental of their pollinating hives.
Bees have many needs to remain healthy and productive, including protection for their hives with a wrap of tar paper in South Dakota's winters. One critical need is for a good source of open water near by. Dan ended his program with a brief video of himself and son Joel servicing one of the hives.
Our meeting was closed with the usual singing of one stanza of My Country 'Tis of Thee, and with the reminder from President Hussey that sign-ups are needed for Rotary's turn at the community Welcome Table on Sept. 24.
ELCA women enjoy travels
Women of the ELCA from Trinity Lutheran Church, Vermillion, enjoyed their annual Out-and-About Day on Thursday, Aug. 27.
Members traveled to Sarie's Vintage Dinnerware Room at the Lappegard farm near Beresford. Transportation was provided by Judy Lofgren, Nancy Pickering from Minnesota, and Edna Timm. Nancy and Peggy Moore from California, daughters of Glendae Anderson, joined their mother and sister, Gloria Christopherson, for the occasion.
Sara (Sarie) JoAnn Lappegard, hostess, prepared and served a luncheon at noon to her guests seated at tables with place settings of vintage dinnerware. After a Swedish cr�me dessert in individual English ramekins delighted her guests, JoAnn showed favorite unique and antique pieces from her collections and answered questions about them.
The Vintage Dinnerware Room displays place settings from a collection of more than 200 patterns and exhibits dinnerware, glassware, lamps, dolls, children's dishes, women's hats, and much more. In addition to the Dinnerware Room with its dining area, kitchen, and collections, the building houses another large room for storage and a restroom.
A prairie cabin with furnishings is located on the farm. The cabin belonged to David Lappegard's pioneer grandfather and was moved from the Selby area in South Dakota to the farm in Lincoln County.