• July 22, 2014

Gardening series looks at honeybees

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Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 4:30 am

Honeybees do a lot more than buzz around.

Steven L. Hoskins, of BeeKind Honey Farms in Belton, discussed their importance Monday during the monthly Gardeners Education Series at the Harker Heights Activities Center.

As part of his free public lecture, Hoskins provided about a dozen attendees with printed material covering the importance of bees and their relevance to agriculture, including how bees collect pollen and transfer, what honey is, and how bees produce it.

The lecture also covered how nectar is consumed, the health benefits of raw, cold-filtered honey, and what flowers produce different shades and flavors of honey. Hoskins also described how local honey filtered to preserve the pollen and enzymes benefits human health as a sleep aid, allergy reliever and to heal wounds.

Honeybees can be dangerous, but are generally not a nuisance to humans. In fact, they are vitally important, Hoskins said.

After serving in the Army, and later retiring from the Killeen Police Department, Hoskins and his wife, Danna, turned his beekeeping hobby into a private business, and opened BeeKind Honey Farm.

Catherine Mason recalled growing up in Belton and harvesting several honeybee hives with her foster father.

“We would take the comb frames out of the hives. You could smoke them, and then you could cut the honey out,” Mason said. “We’d eat it all.”

Retired Army Lt. Col James Finn said he extracts bees as a hobby.

“Because I travel so much, I’m not there to baby sit (the bees) so to speak, so most of the bee hives I have collected I’ve either given away or they’ve have decided to move themselves,” Finn said.

Finn knew bee numbers are declining across the nation, but was surprised to learn about the number of bees lost over the last 20 years to Colony Collapse Disorder and other diseases.

To learn more about BeeKind Honey Farm, call 254-630-6855 or go to facebook/BeeKindFarm.

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