Beekeeping without chemicals. OJ Blount demonstrates his method of keeping honeybees, including his own hive design for keeping it free from pests and predators as well as other tips.
Neranza Noel Blount sent this information that will be of some interest to the Blount County Beekeepers Association members:
A former Blount Co. Beekeeping Association member, who won Beekeeper of the Year 2014 in Alabama, and will be at the Anderson Co. beekeepers meeting Oct. 20 in the Clinton Community Center at 7 p.m.
The father of ACBA member Neranza Blount Sobczak will be coming up from lower Alabama along with his wife Lucy for a rare visit to demonstrate his current modifications to his beehive at our October meeting. OJ Blount was recently awarded Beekeeper of the Year in the State of Alabama. Before moving South many years ago, he was an active member in the Knox and Blount County Beekeeping Associations.
A portion of the nomination letter follows that was submitted by the secretary of the club he founded and will show the many reasons he won this award. Links to videos showing past modifications are below. Compare what he did then to what he’s doing now where you’ll see some changes and some remaining the same. All have been successful in maintaining healthy hives and increasing populations.
Nomination of Mr. OJ Blount for the State of Alabama Beekeeper of the Year.
OJ Blount has over 40 years of experience in beekeeping. He has always sought new ways to improve the basic hive to help the queen and colony produce the most bees and most honey. These experiments continue even today. The specially designed hive has had so much success that people everywhere want to know how he does it. Every year he tells people at the state convention that his colonies doubled again, folks spend time to hear his wisdom and stories in beekeeping. He is a lot like some of the other great inventors of our nation’s history that has something special to help improve the lives of others and yet few understand the depth of this man.
Because of his success he was instrumental in developing and establishing a much needed club in lower Alabama. He had a strong desire to help new and small size beekeepers with their hives and show them better ways to care for their bees. At first he would hold meetings at his home to train anyone that wanted to learn, then after a while the group decided to form a club. The club was named after OJ’s specially designed hive, The Queen’s Castle Beekeeper’s Association.
Two years ago the membership tripled and now over 180 people have been to our meetings and shown interest in beekeeping, starting their own hives. With the need to host more people OJ is building a 40×40 building for the club at his own expense.
He now has numerous videos on YouTube demonstrating his methods of natural beekeeping. The original video posted February 2009 has had over 40,000 views. It was split into two parts and Part 2 has over 30,000 views. He’s received praise and thanks from viewers from all over the world.
We began to show our club off, educating local people about bees and finding new ways to market our honey and bee products. OJ set up our first big club exhibit with the Andalusia Outdoor Expo in 2012 and we have been there ever since. He designed and built the entire display to maximize showing off our honey. In the last 3 annual Outdoor Expos thousands of people came by to learn about beekeeping. It was a huge success and many people joined our club. As the result we were invited to other events throughout our area to tell of our wonderful bees. OJ developed an easy to assemble display that can be adapted to various sized areas for any opportunity the club has to be visible to the public. He includes pollination, the year in flowers, a slate of our members, the importance of water to the bees, and other key contributions the honey bee gives to all of us.
Under his direction, we now conduct Kid’s Days with the honey bees. Those that attend get a well rounded education about how we work with our bees. They can see up close bees in observation hives and extract some honey from frames with a hand crank extractor. The program can be adapted to just about any size and age of kids interested in keeping bees. OJ put together a magnificent program for all the children and kept them safe from any stings.
Even for people who don’t want to keep bees, he shows how they can help by showing them the native bee friendly plants they can grow throughout the year to help feed the bees that forage.
The reason for our club’s success is that OJ truly wants to make the world a better place. He’s constantly trying to educate people on the importance of honeybees and good healthy ways of living. He’s always reading and learning himself while experimenting with the common sense ideas he has.
He has been featured in the local newspapers many times. The Queen Castle System is continuing to multiply bees and not lose them like most of our industry. Most of our club members are doubling their hives now every year. It is truly an amazing system that other beekeepers could benefit from implementing. It may not be economical for commercial beekeepers because it is so tailor made to protect the precious queen, but it sure works for the hobbyist. If the commercial beekeepers did use this design we would have an abundance of honey and bees in our nation. Two years ago he experimented with Top Bar frames in brood chamber and now honey production is at an all time high.
People from all over the world are commenting on how they are using OJ’s suggestions. He welcomes people to call him anytime. He’s always willing to take all the time needed to talk to anyone who asks him about how to do beekeeping naturally without chemicals. When everyone else is counting all the hives they’ve lost each year, we keep sharing our success, usually one beekeeper at a time.
Because of his huge impact to education about the honeybee, the young beekeeper, and finding a way to increase the population; he is the logical choice for Beekeeper of The Year.
Keith Robinson, Secretary of the Queen’s Castle Beekeeper’s Association
Beekeeping the Natural Way (Part 1 of 2)
Beekeeping the Natural Way Part 2 of 2
OJ Blount’s Modified & Customized Beehive Assembly – Video #3.wmv
OJ Blount’s 1st Natural Beekeeping Field Day – Video #4
OJ Blount Top Bar Hive with Lime & Viewing Window – Video #5.avi
Lucy Blount Narration of Bee Hive Assembly-Video #6.avi
Key words: OJ Blount, Alabama beekeeper of the Year, natural beekeeping, beekeeping without chemicals, Anderson County Beekeepers Association, Lucy Blount, Neranza Noel Blount , Neranza Blount Sobczak,