Buzz About Bees 11/8/2018

All The Buzz About Bees

For those who like honey and good news, the LWRWC Meeting on Nov. 8, 2018 was the place to bee (pun intended). Bob Simons, the featured speaker, captivated his audience with a mixture of pathos, humor and fascinating facts about bees.

As President of Lakewood Ranch Development LLC, Bob not only provides land development management for SMR, but also nurtures and provides a thriving habitat for local honeybees who without him, wouldn’t have a home in LWR.

Bob Simons joined Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc. in July 1995, as Manager of Golf Course and Landscape Construction. He is a native Floridian from Zephyrhills (where the good water comes from) and he started in golf course construction and land development in 1967 at the age of 15. In the same year, his uncle introduced him to beekeeping at the family ranch in Zephyrhills. What began as burden developed into a passion and today Bob is all the buzz about his bees.

Bob is an advocate for protecting our local bees and educating residents about the important dos and don’ts when it comes to our local bees.

  • DO plant flowering native plants and wildflower areas to support bee foraging.
  • DO call a beekeeper instead of an exterminator if a “Honey Bee” swarm becomes a colony in or around your house. A beekeeper will relocate the colony and it is very rare for swarming bees to sting.
  • DON’T cut back on flowering plants in bloom because it removes food source opportunities for bees.
  • DON’T apply, insecticides, fungicide, or herbicides when plant materials are flowering because bees (pollinators) will carry the pesticides back to their colony and the whole colony will die.

Bob has a great sense of humor and jokes about coming back in the next life as a drone. Drones are pampered “boy toys” for the Queen Bee, but like most creatures who use their body as their only currency, they burn out quickly, have a short-lived usefulness, and quickly come to a tragic end. There are three types of bees in a hive – one Queen (who is prolific maker of baby bees), the drones (studs for the Queen), and the very useful and busy female worker bees who Bob refers to as his girls.

Bob’s all-natural honey is absolutely delicious and comes in several seasonal varieties. Thanks to Bob and his “girls” as he calls them, we get to enjoy delicious honey when we dine at The Lodge in Country Club East, as he keeps the restaurant stocked with his scrumptious product. Bob currently operates as a very small “Boutique Honey” producer known as B-Works concentrating on specific of flavors of honey rather than volume. Since we need bees and bees need us, Bob’s all-consuming beekeeping hobby is a natural extension of his interests and his work to develop LWR and care for its environment.