Men’s Breakfast Group Learns About The Bee Master

Resurrection Lutheran Men’s February Breakfast Meeting featured Dr. Steve Thoenes, considered one of the world’s leading experts on honey bees. Gary Zellinger opened the breakfast meeting. Ken Shepard blessed the food with an opening prayer. A delicious home-cooked breakfast was prepared by volunteer cooks Roseanne and Don Thurmond and Fran Venet.

Program chair for the month, Ron Mc Nutt, introduced Dr. Thoenes, who gave an entertaining presentation on all aspects of co-existing with our bee population. He has bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology, and a master’s and PhD in entomology. Dr. Thoenes has taught courses all over the world, appeared as an expert on such shows as Good Morning America, BBC, and National Geographic.

Honey bees create a wonderful structured community that is crucial and helpful to our food chain. Normally, they thrive in colonies that are comprised of a queen, drones, and worker bees. Dr. Thoenes mentioned that the beehive is comprised of 20,000-80,000 bees. Very much like a successfully run business, every bee (employee) must fulfill its own duties in order for the beehive to survive.

Queen Bee: She is the largest and longest surviving kind of bee who lives up to five or six years. She is capable of laying up to 2000 fertilized eggs in one day for the next generation of bees.

Drone Bees: These are male bees whose tasks are only to eat and mate with the queen bee. In spring and summer, hundreds of drones live in the hive and die after mating with the queen bee.

Worker Bees: Female bees that hunt for food, develop and guard the hive,  and maintain the cleanliness of the air in the hive. They are not capable of laying eggs and are sexually undeveloped. They are the backbone of the hive.

One of the most interesting parts of the presentation was about killer bees or Africanized bees. Cross-bred with honey bees they are notoriously wicked tempered and may attack anything or anyone that comes near them. Dr. Thoenes recommended that upon such an encounter one should run as quickly as possible in a straight line away from them.

The Resurrection Church Men’s Breakfasts take place on the first Saturday of the month from October to May. Meetings are held at the Outreach Center at the main church campus in Oro Valley. Breakfasts start at 7:30 a.m., opening at 7 a.m. for coffee and social time. Guests are welcome. The meeting is adjourned by 9 a.m.

The breakfasts are organized by a five-member steering committee. Chairman Al Toensing, Ron Mc Nutt, Gary Zellinger, and Duane Hartzler are residents of SaddleBrooke. Sign-up sheets are at all services or call the church office at 520-575-9901 for a reservation. The next breakfast will be on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Speaker will be Lt. John Teachout, Oro Valley Police Department. He will speak on unmanned aerial systems in law enforcement.

Resurrection Church at SaddleBrooke holds its all-denominational Sunday worship services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in the Vermilion Room at the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse. All are welcome.