Ed Speer or Sweet Betsy Farm in Marion, NC

Ed Speer, a beekeeper from McDowell County, will present some recent developments in how honey is analyzed for its nectar source at the monthly Toe Cane Beekeepers Association.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 15 Hemlock Avenue, Spruce Pine.

Using microscopic pollen studies, labs are again offering to analyze the content of honey — be it clover, sourwood, or “wildflower,” and the percentage of each nectar in a sample.

Speer will present some interesting and sometimes surprising findings about our local honey content and color.

A retired geologist who grew up in McDowell County, Speer recalled collecting rocks in the Spruce Pine area as a child. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Arizona, and followed an extensive exploration career searching for mineral deposits throughout the U.S. and around the world — particularly gold and diamonds.

A former president of the McDowell Beekeepers Club for 10 years, Speer and his wife, Karen, own and operate Sweet Betsy Farm, offering local honey, eggs from free-roaming chickens, and hive tours.

Toe Cane Beekeepers Association is a nonprofit organization serving honey bees and beekeepers in Mitchell, Avery and Yancey counties. It offers educational and training opportunities throughout the year for new and experienced beekeepers and engages in community outreach through area schools and at special events. For more information, visit them online at www.toecanebeekeepers.net


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