Pennsylvania State Apiarist Karen Roccasecca, 55, of Harrisburg, collaborates with Hoover, beekeepers at Penn State University and others in the beekeeping network to help address such problems.
“There’s a lot of (issues),” Roccasecca said. “Of course pesticides are a concern both agriculturally and in the yard. Different environmental things like hard winters, floods, tornados, hurricanes all come into play. There are different pests that go after honeybees, like varroa mites. There are viruses that bees can get from different things, and some plants have the viruses.”
Roccasecca, like Hoover, encourages the growth of bee-friendly plants, like the black-eyed susan, coneflower, bee balm and other perennials.
“It provides a variety of nectar and pollen, different sources they can go to,” Roccaseeca said. “Different times of the year, it’s good to have different plants available.”
Aside from discussing these issues and solutions within meetings, 2 Cs and a Bee distributes an informational monthly newsletter via email, attends local fairs and farm shows and conducts presentations for community groups like Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops to share their knowledge.
Bernie Svidergol, 60, of Ebensburg, serves as the vice president of the association, and enjoys the commaraderie he has with the other members.
“A beekeeper is a special individual,” said Svidergol, who has been a member for seven years. “Once you get stung, you’re hooked. They’re very honest, real nice people. There are no secrets in beekeeping. If someone has a problem, you help them as much as you can.”
Svidergol has seen an increase in the attention surrounding honeybees since the colony collapse disorder happened and hopes the association can continue to draw the public’s attention to honeybees.
“For the future – there’s just looking up,” Svidergol said. “There’s no limit to what we are doing. We are involved in everything – education, helping the public with their bees and their education. There are a lot of really intelligent people in the organization. They’ll do anything for the public.”
For more information about 2 C’s and a Bee, visit www.cccbee.org.
Tri-county organization promotes honeybee awareness, education
By NICOLE CHYNOWETH
Our Town Correspondent
As a beekeeper, 70-year-old Ted Kaminski of Hastings thrives on observing and learning about the behavior of honeybees.
“I think it’s the adventure of housing a wild creature, taking care of them, the biology of the honeybee and how sophisticated they are,” Kaminski said of his interest.
For over 25 years, Kaminski has strived to educate others about the insects that have mystified him since childhood.
2 Cs and a Bee serves as the beekeepers’ association for Cambria, Clearfield and Blair counties. The organization welcomes beekeepers, as well as those who are simply interested in learning more about honeybees, to participate in their monthly meetings.
“Our main objective is to really educate people about (honeybees’) importance,” Kaminski said.
Kaminski co-founded the association in 1987 after hosting movie nights in his garage once a month showing reel-to-reel tapes about honeybees to fellow enthusiasts. He started advertising the educational movie nights in a local newspaper, and eventually people started swarming to Kaminski’s house to learn about beekeeping. As attendance grew, Kaminski and other beekeepers turned the gathering into a club, and today more than 150 people belong to 2 Cs and a Bee.