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Monday, November 1, 2010

Guest Speakers

If you belong to a civic or service club, chances are you’re always looking for good speakers.

A couple of the best speakers we’ve ever had came from areas you wouldn’t normally expect outstanding speakers to come from.

Once, we had a no-show and imposed upon Richard Jungas, one of our members, to act as an emergency speaker. He knocked our socks off with a most fascinating discussion of his profession.

Dick is a mortician.

He outlined in clear, simple language, what happens within the funeral industry. A great many questions that folks always wanted to ask, but were afraid to ask, were asked . . . and answered. All of us in the club were amazed at how well Dick spoke and how interesting the program was. Of course we had him back as a guest speaker again . . . and will, yet again. He is a great speaker and the subject matter is something we all need to know about.

Another wonderful surprise was Dick Huls. Dick is a retired Pastor, he is the Police Department Chaplain, and he is an aviarist (beekeeper). The first time Dick spoke before us on bees and bee keeping, we were simply blown away. The half hour allotted to a speaker went by way too quickly. There were so many more questions. We enjoyed Dick so much we asked him back two weeks later to speak again. Last Tuesday was either his third or fourth time to appear before us. I raved so much about Dick’s presentation that a number of other Kiwanis Clubs contacted him and he has spoken to them as well. I’m thinking of becoming Dick’s personal press agent.

Some of the highlights of Dick’s most recent presentation to us included the fact that it appears they are getting closer to getting a handle on what is causing CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). For those who are not aware, there is a major loss of bees happening. Without bees, our agriculture would go topsy turvy. We need bees to pollinate our flowers and other plants, we need their honey, we need them to continue providing the basic staples of life. The last five years, worldwide, this malady has posed a significant problem.

Scientists have narrowed their search to two basic areas. They have found there is a fungus present in hives and in individual bees around the world. In addition, researchers have found there is a virus appearing in bees throughout the world. Two researchers have a theory that when both the fungus and virus are present at the same time, in individual bees, or in hives, you will see a massive die-off. Forty percent of the bee population has disappeared! Forty percent!

Researchers are working on an antifungal medication which they believe, when introduced in the hives, will be the answer. Remember, both the fungus and the virus have to be present to kill the bees. At least that’s the theory.

Dick explains the life cycle of the bee . . . the culture of different bees, their job descriptions, their work schedule, what they do, what they don’t do; we learned about the Queen Bee and her role, about the drones, the worker bees . . . it’s quite an efficient, and fascinating, community.

If you live in or around North San Diego County and would like to have either Dick Huls or Dick Jungas speak to your group, drop me a line and I’ll see if I can arrange their appearance. If you are outside the area, and looking for a speaker, consider exploring the idea of a speaker from the funeral industry and the bee keeping industry. You just might find an outstanding program.

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