Crestview beekeeper shares advice on getting started in the hobby

Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 07:41 PM.

• Suit up. "Nothing ruins things for a beekeeper more than not wearing protective gear," Bundrick said. "There's nothing like having a mean bee around your nose. If people say it doesn't hurt to get stung, they're lying." Start-up equipment — a wooden hive, protective clothes and a colony of bees — costs about $500.

• Blossoms on north county gallberry, blackberry and blueberry bushes are bees' favorites. Bees also make honey from cotton blossoms, but beekeepers dislike it because it granulates quickly.

• Planting flowers particularly attracts honeybees, but home gardeners should avoid insecticides.

• A hive can produce between about 60-80 pounds of honey a year, Bundrick said. It takes bees about 20 pounds of honey to make one pound of beeswax.

• Most wild honeybee colonies have fallen victim to insecticides and organic pests like mites; Bundrick said it's up to amateur and professional beekeepers to keep the species strong.

Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.

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