Honey bees in high demand this season

Raleigh County
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Ever heard the phrase, ‘busy as a bee?’ Well that is because this time of the year, bees are always hard at work.

According to Beekeeper Mark Lilly, it can be hard to keep up with how fast they are. 

“The queen starts to lay a lot of eggs, she can lay up to fifteen hundred eggs a day laying and where everything is just starting to bloom, there is a potential they can swarm if we don’t check them,” Lilly said.

Spring is the most crucial time of the year for honey bees to feed, lay eggs and continue colony development. Lilly believes every beekeeper should check on their hives every 10 to 14 days to keep an eye on constant change. His bees work hard, and their product is in high demand. Lilly said it can take an entire lifetime for a bee to make 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey. 

Honey bees are typically ordered for spring delivery at the last freeze of winter. A package of bees contain about 3,000 honey bees, and beekeepers from all over the country are trying to get their hands on the perfect colony. 

“Honey bees are the easiest to manage, because we can keep them in boxes like this, move them from location to location wherever they might be needed,” Lilly said. 

Believe it or not these bees are one of the most important parts of our daily lives, but not for the reason you might think.

“Although we may think honey is the product that is the most important, it is actually not it is the pollination,” Lilly explained. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than one-third of all crop production, 90 crops ranging from nuts to berries to flowering vegetables, require pollination from honey bee colonies. 

On Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. the Raleigh County Beekeepers Cooperative
Association will be having a meeting at the Board of Education office.

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