Experienced keeper helps Nacogdoches boy explore passion for bee - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Experienced keeper helps Nacogdoches boy explore passion for bees

Jimmy Lanham from Bee Removal & Pollination teaches the trade to JaCorey Spencer, 11, of Nacogdoches.  (Source: KTRE Staff) Jimmy Lanham from Bee Removal & Pollination teaches the trade to JaCorey Spencer, 11, of Nacogdoches. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Jimmy Lanham of Troup travels the East Texas region removing bees from various locations. (Source: KTRE Staff) Jimmy Lanham of Troup travels the East Texas region removing bees from various locations. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Lanham called JaCorey ‘a natural’ when it came to removing bees. (Source: KTRE Staff) Lanham called JaCorey ‘a natural’ when it came to removing bees. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Television came through for an 11-year-old Nacogdoches boy, as many as 30,000 bees, and a 75-year-old beekeeper from Troup.  

They all came together in a unique way. For five years, thousands of bees have been living in the walls of a frame house where Shirley Thorn once lived.

"They just started living there and taking over,” Thorn said.

The bees led to Shirley moving out, but they created a fascination for her grandson, JaCorey Spencer.

"They're kinda my friends,” Spencer said. “I love bees."

The 11-year-old wanted the bees saved instead of killed. He's been watching TV shows and news accounts about the importance of bees. As a result, he convinced his grandmother to call a beekeeper to save the bees' lives. 

"They pollinate the flowers. They bring stuff in,” Spencer said. It's good for honey and if people, somebody is sick, they can cure 'em with some honey."

Beekeeper Jimmy Lanham of Troup got the job. He says the boy knows what he's talking about. 

"I eat honey every day. I'm 75 years old,” Lanham said. “I go up and down those ladders. Building scaffolds just like I did when I was 40 years old."

Spencer stood at a safe distance as Lanham vacuumed bees into his own bee box, but that all changed when he learned about the 11-year-old's keen interest in bees. 

"Let's get you a hood,” Lanham said.

Lanham buzzed over to his truck. Quick as a bee on honey Spencer was suited up.

"Thank you, sir,” Spencer said.

"Yeah, just lookey here. You gonna like this. Oh. Lookey there,” Lanham said with a giggle. “Come on down here."

"I'm ready,” Spencer said.

Spencer watched as his newfound mentor pulled out portions of cones weighing as much as 15 pounds. 

"Now how's that for a monster?” Lanham asked.

It was a confidence booster for the special needs child.

Confidence built in this special needs child. 

"The experience feels good and kinda scary, you know,” Spencer said. “I'm not afraid."

At that point, Lanham knew it was time to hand over the vacuum and put his apprentice to work.

"He is a natural. I just wish he could go with me for a year,” Lanham said.

On Monday, bees were saved, so they can help the environment. A gentleman got to share his trade with someone who cares, and a young boy showed others and himself that if given a little time with the right person, he can learn how to make a difference, too. 

There were so many bees that they were divided up to pollinate fruits and crops in several locations. 

The many pounds of wax will be used to make wax-based products, including candles. Spencer said he plans to write about his experience and called it a day he won't forget.

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