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Jack’s Journal: Beekeeping

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Without a doubt it is a job most people don’t put on their top 10 list.

But for one gentleman, it just something that came to be. Yes, he had to overcome his fear. He had to learn to protect himself and how to “work the bees.”

“Some are angry, some nice one day, the next they might not be so nice. Usually they aren’t that bad,” beekeeper Brad Webster said.

Brad enjoys the outdoors and he knows his bees, having been in the business now over 20 years.  His hives are spread far and wide.
“Our bee yard’s in 60 to 70 different places in Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse and Antrim counties. And in the winter time I have to take them to Florida,” Brad said.

Oh yes, there is that. This fall Brad and his hives pack up and head to Florida to help with the citrus industry. 

The white jacket is a color that keeps the bees calm. They do not like the color black! 

He does wear the hat with netting, but rarely wears gloves.  He says if you pay attention the bees tell you when they are getting unhappy with you by bumping you.

“It’s a warning system they have, if you are in the wrong area,” Brad explained. “Course, the meaner the hive the farther out they bump you from the hive.”

That’s known as experience. Just like any beekeeper, these days Brad has to deal with population losses due to insecticides. 

He says you can help keep his bees flying just by following directions.

“Don’t spray in the middle of the day when the bees are visiting your roses, wait. You don’t have to spray in the middle of the day,” Brad said.

Bees are so important, Brad reminds you to spray those chemicals at night. 

Brad and his crew promise to take good care of the hives to keep them flying.