The bees were busy all summer and as the weather cools down its time for beekeepers to harvest their honey. Just one beehive can produce up to 200 pounds of honey in one season.
Since the age of 12 Ed Bell wanted to be with bees. In 2008 Bell, or as he is know to most Dr. Bee, established Belfry Bees and Honey. He says September is a good month for National Honey Month because it’s the right time to harvest.
“We want to harvest and still leave enough time for the bees to still collect more of the late season blooms,” said Bell. “They have enough honey going into the winter.”
The harvesting process starts by removing the bees-wax from the frames.
“What I’ll do is take a nice warm knife or a serrated knife or even a fork if necessary and just break open the tops,” said Bell.
From there the honey is placed in an extractor, which spins the frames removing the honey, and last it’s filtered from excess wax and bee body parts and put into jars and ready for sale.
“Honey is the one food product that will never go bad as long as it doesn’t get exposed to moisture,” said Bell. “In fact they found edible honey in King Tuts Tomb”
While there were honeybees around King Tut, in the last 50 years the bee population has severely declined. Beekeeper for Kline Creek Farm, Lawrence DuBose, lost more than 50 percent of his hives last season.
“Due to the increase of pesticides and insecticides the population of bees has gone from 6 million, I’m talking about colonies down to just a little over 2 million, said DuBose.”
DuBose is optimistic for this year and expects it to be a five-year high in his honey production. Dubose and bell both believe natural honey is good for your health.
“Folks who are allergic to some of the pollens have reported to actually have a better year after eating raw honey,” said bell. “They are getting a small dose of the allergen and they are able to build up an immune system for it.”
“its good for you and I’ve been eating honey my whole life and i think it hasn’t hurt me,” said DuBose.
Bell says bees are willing to travel up to seven miles away from the hive to collect pollen and will produce up to two teaspoons of honey in a lifespan of about four weeks.
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