Featured Beekeeper of the Month
Our featured beekeeper of the month comes from Bonaparte, Iowa in the southeast corner of the state. Her name is Tommee Pelky. She and her parents Curt and Carolyn live on a small farm with many pets and farm animals.
Tommee plans to go to college and become a veterinarian, specializing in large dairy animals.
Tommee is in the eighth grade and is home schooled. She belongs to the St. Wenceslaus Home School group, V.B.C. Players Club and Town and Country Garden Club. Her hobbies are volunteering weekly for the Salvation Army, gardening and going to local farmers markets, sewing for herself and others, showing chickens and spending time learning about honeybees. Tommee started 4-H as a Clover Kid when she was 7 and is now in her fourth year of 4-H. She is vice-president of her club, The Jolly Trio and junior 4-H leader for the Clover Kids ages 5 to 8. She shows beef, dairy cows, dairy goats, poultry, rabbits, swine, dog and cat at the county fair and poultry and dog obedience at the Iowa State Fair. She also did an educational presentation about nicotine bees and the county fair.
Vern Ramsey was doing a live bee demonstration at a garden and flower show. That is where Tommee met Vern. Because of her interest in bees, Vern and the Southeast Iowa Beekeepers are now mentoring her. She also took the beekeeping class at V.B.C Extension.
She has a funny story. It seems her dad was recording Tommee smoking her bees to send to a fourth grade teacher for her students to see. Her father kept telling her to be careful and remember to keep still if the bees landed on her. Suddenly she heard him screaming and running towards the house. Come to find out he had gotten stung on his head pretty bad. Tommee says, "I guess he didn't remember to stay still. Ha, ha."
When she graduates, Tommee plans to go to college and become a veterinarian, specializing in large dairy animals. She has started her own Jersey herd.
Tommee says she hopes to get more kids involved in beekeeping because bees are an important part of our world.
We wish her well.
Submitted by Ron Wehr