Sunday Speaker Series program to be held at 2 p.m. on June 9, 2013
The Museum of South Texas History welcomes Africanized bees expert Luis Slayton as he presents “Africanized Killer Bees in the Rio Grande Valley,” an informative presentation and demonstration on honey bees at 2 p.m. on June 9. Audience members will learn about the life cycle of the honey bee and the societal importance of honey bees, including the health benefits of eating honey and other hive products. This Sunday Speaker Series program will include a multimedia presentation, a “beard of bees” performance and will conclude with a question and answer session.
A honey bee produces and stores honey, constructing nests or hives out of wax. Africanized honey bees or “killer bees” are a hybrid of the honey bee known for aggressively defending the colony by swarming out of the colony to attack and sting in large numbers. Native Texan Slayton, also known as a honey farmer or apiarist, has been around Africanized killer bees practically all of his life. Slayton’s grandfather started a family-operated business that sold bee honey. Today Slayton carries on the family business as the owner of the company, Bee Strong Honey, reputed for their expertise in the management of bee hives, Africanized bees and bee removal.
Rather than extermination, Slayton specializes in the live removal of honey bees through hive manipulation in order to save them, actually domesticating the honey bees. During the presentation, Slayton will talk about misconceptions of Africanized killer bees and ways to increase honey bee pollination of vegetable gardens, essential for growing vegetables such as melons, cucumbers and pumpkins. Audience members are sure to be electrified when Slayton steps into a plexiglass case with a swarm of Africanized killer bees to demonstrate his “beard of bees.” This Sunday Speaker Series presentation by Slayton is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.
About Luis Slayton
One of the foremost experts in South Texas on Africanized bees, Luis Slayton is the owner of family-owned and operated Bee Strong Honey, a commodity producer of products from honey bees and a company in the management of bee hives, Africanized bees and bee removal. Slayton taught elementary school for seven years before retiring to focus on the family business. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in bilingual education specializing in leadership from The University of Texas-Pan American and is currently working on a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction specializing in science. Slayton conducts educational presentations to public school students in fifth grade and lectures at junior colleges and county and state fairs.