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Bee Happy
The Rotary building was buzzing with anticipation last Thursday when Denny and Donna Dennison, Barters Island beekeepers extraordinaire, introduced us to their passion and their wares.
The Dennisons moved to Maine about 15 years ago, and started their honey business as a way to be environmentally friendly, pollinator conscious, and financially growing. Denny explained that one out of three mouthfuls of food are dependent upon pollinators, and that, since the 1980s, the honey bee population has fallen by 45 percent due to loss of habitat, pesticides, and pests/insects invading from other geographies.
Bees fascinate Denny. “They are the only insect that creates a food source useful to humans,” he said. They are also a democratic society – they make decisions by group – and they work together on everything from honey-making to keeping the hive warm through the winter.
He also suggested ways that we can help pollinators: By planting bee-friendly gardens; supporting local beekeepers or becoming one ourselves, and by avoiding use of pesticides.
Denny and Donna brought samples of their honey for us to taste, but none to sell: They are maxed out just selling through local stores including Eventide and Pinkham’s. You will also find Barter’s Island Bees at the Farmers Market on Thursdays. Other than that, their bees are working 24/7 and barely keeping up with demand!
In other news, President-elect Tory announced the decisions of the Nominating Committee and introduced the slate of officers and board of directors for 2023-24.
The big news: Alden Wood and Mike Thompson will serve as co-presidents-elect. This will allow Alden to participate, while recognizing that during the winter he is otherwise engaged in locations south. Mike Thompson will be repeating his role – but since the previous time he was president the club wasn’t using email, we suspect he won’t find the job repetitive.
Equally big news: Laurie Zimmerli is stepping up to be vice president.
Our secretaries will be Tom Marston and Irene Fowle; treasurers will be Brian McGrath and Bill Prince.
Our directors: Jim Herbold, Charlotte Jameson, and Deb Graves.
The slate was greeted with cheers and acclamation.
Guests this week included Laura Fossett Russell – who is a frequent visitor to the Barn; Mary Alice and Garmen from Pennsylvania; Ingrid from England and Sue Lousignau (Bill’s other half). Linda Clapp announced that so far this Rotary year, we have signed 15 new members. Hurrah for us!
Judi White thanked those who have given to The Rotary Foundation this year, and reminded everyone else that gifts must be postmarked (or electronically sent) prior to the end of June to “count” for this Rotary year. All donations to the Annual Fund – which supports the good work we do via grants throughout the year – will be matched up to $100 per member by the club; all donations to Polio Plus – which is integral to eliminating this disease – are matched two-for-one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. All newbies (see Linda Clapp’s announcement above) are invited to talk to Judi specifically about The Rotary Foundation, the awards it has received for excellent management, and the equally excellent work it does.
Mike Thompson asked members to think about opening their homes as host to the Catalonian Rotarians when they visit the end of August. See Mike for details.
Judi White announced that our food distribution in concert with the Gleaners will take place on Tuesdays. This is a chance to pick up “extra” food from farms and groceries and distribute where needed. She also brought word of several delivery opportunities via Healthy Lincoln County. Please see her for more info.
After learning about bees, it’s time to learn about birds. This coming Thursday, June 22, we will hear about puffins from the Audubon Society. And the following week, June 29, will be our changeover night. Not only will we say farewell to Bruce and hello to Tory, we also understand that the Rotations will be making a musical appearance, despite lack of popular demand.
Interested in getting involved and giving back? We’re always looking for kindred spirits to help us with the work we do in the community. Come to the Rotary Clubhouse on Montgomery Street Thursdays at 6:00 pm, or talk to any club member you know.