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August 16, 2015 - ATI Picnic Basket Event






There was much buzz about ATI’s Aug. 16 picnic this year.

NPS Ranger Craig Campbell presented a fascinating program on the preservation of Ohio’s native bee colonies of 30,000-40,000 diminutive “flyers” on Wright-Patterson AFB. Honey bees are vital to the pollination of most of our plant species, and the National Park Service is conducting a project on Huffman Prairie to help protect the endangered bees.     

This year's picnicers enjoyed great weather and an excellent picnic lunch, with Jersey Mike’s sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and cool drinks. The picnic was held in the area between the monument and the Interpretive Center. The program was then held in the auditorium of the center. 

ATI President Marvin Christian remarked how the Wrights’ flying on Huffman Prairie had a “bee link.”  “In 1904 Amos I. Root, Ohio owner of a beekeeping supply house and publisher of Gleanings in Bee Culture, keenly observed the Wrights’ trial flights and penned several articles about the endeavors for his periodical. “Ironically his very accurate observations were written for beekeepers, not experimenters in manned flight. That is one of the interesting facts about early narrations of what the Wrights were accomplishing on the prairie,” he said.



Ranger Campbell’s power point bee presentation covered the one-year-old, volunteer Propolis Project to promote bee pollinator health and sustain locally acclimated bees. Recently four small bee colonies of 10,000 bees each have been introduced to the Huffman Prairie area as part of the project. The presentation was very informative and thorough, and Ranger Campbell stayed to answer many questions from the audience. He also handed out packets of wild flower seeds to the audience members, so that they could help provide nectar and pollen for local honey bees.  



A local native, Campbell has a degree in evolutionary biology from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He previously led wilderness tours and served with the Park Service at the Grand Canyon.  



ATI traditionally hosts a social event for all its members near Aug. 19, the mutual birthdays of Orville and Katharine Wright. Orville was born in 1871 on Hawthorn Street in Dayton and Katharine in 1874, also on Hawthorn Street.



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