Pittsboro, NC – Busy as a bee. That’s me! Mostly I am interested in the Real Estate buzz going on around Chatham County, but recently I met some folks interested in the buzzing of bees. Yes honey, I’m talking about beekeepers. This is an actual hobby to some and a full time job to others. So I thought I would share some information about our busy Chatham County bees.
I found out that bees do lots of wonderful things for us humans other than just make honey. They are literally, busy little bees! They do much more than sweeten my tea in the morning. The honey bee plays a huge role in North Carolina agriculture.
According to the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association, honey bees and the products of the hive, including honey, pollen, and bees wax account for approximately $10 million annually in North Carolina.
Some Bee Facts
- It is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
- During honey production periods, a bee’s life span is about 6 weeks.
- To make one pound of honey, the bees in the colony must visit 2 million flowers, fly over 55,000 miles.
- A typical beehive can make up to 400 pounds of honey per year.
- Bees are needed to produce 80 percent of our flowering plants and one third of our human food crops.
- Bees pollinate many crops such as apples, blueberries, melons, broccoli, cucumbers and almonds.
- Eating local honey can fend off allergies.
- Bees help produce products like, candles, lip gloss, wine, floor polish, and cosmetics.
Learning About Local Beekeepers
The Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association was created in January 2005 and now has over 170 members. The local Beekeepers’ Association holds events, such as Annual Pollinator Day, to raise public awareness of the importance of the bees.
During this event, in May, you can see beekeeping demonstrations and get a tour of a pollinator garden. The garden habitat supports the honey bees and native bees which in turn pollinate the crops. You can visit the pollinator habitat at Chatham Mills, home of Chatham Marketplace.
You can pick up some local honey at Chatham Marketplace or any of the Farmers Markets all over Chatham County. And for a real treat, you can sample honey wine made by the local Pittsboro meadery, Starrlight Mead. They make the most amazing award-winning honey wines, all made with local North Carolina honey.
More From the Hive
The Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association can get you started if beekeeping sounds like the hobby for you. They can hook you up with some training and show you where to get you beekeeping materials. Or you can learn what plants to use to start your own pollinator garden. But, if all you want to do is enjoy the fruits of the bees’ labor, here are some wonderful honey recipes.
In Chatham County, life is sweet!
Photo by B. Wohack.