POSTED: Friday, April 6, 2012 - 4:51pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 6, 2012 - 5:39pm
NEW CHAPEL HILL — Last year was a tough one for bees.
As one local beekeeper put it, there was no rain, no flowers, no nectar and no honey.
It was the worst year Dick Counts has seen it in the 37 years he's been in the bee biz.
But now that we're getting good rain and flowers are blooming, this year should be much better for the bees if the pattern continues.
As far as honey production goes, Counts says it's still a little too soon to tell.
Bees are just now building up to where they are strong enough to store surplus honey.
Counts says the fate of this year's honey supply will start unfolding next month.
"As food stocks become available, the queens starts to lay more," Counts said. "And the more she lays, the more bees you have. And it takes about 30 to 40,000 bees to make surplus honey. Up to that number, they are just making enough to feed themselves."
Counts says honeybees are responsible for about every third bite that we eat.
He said many people don't realize plants can't produce what they are growing without being pollunated by insects.
If you would like to learn more about bee keeping, Counts teaches a class.
All ages are welcome.