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Wednesday, 04 October 2006 00:00

Seeing is bee-living

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School students who visited the Haywood County Fair last week learned all about bees at a traveling bee hive exhibit from the local North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service.


The beehive travels inside a large screen cage to keep the bees from getting out. Bill Skelton, director of the Haywood County Cooperative Extension, climbed into the giant bee pen to show students the inner workings of the beehive.

Before pulling out one of the combs, Skelton used a portable smoker to send smoke over the hive. The smoke tricks the bees into thinking there is a fire, prompting them to fill up on as much honey as they can. Full of honey, they are too stuffed to sting.

“It’s kind of like how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner,” Skelton said

If they sense a fire, they stock up on honey it case it destroys their hive. If fire destroyed their hive they have to start a new one, and will need the honey to jumpstart the combs that would be the foundation for the new hive, explained Wallace Simmons, a Haywood County cooperative extension agent.

The traveling beehive is used to educate people about the importance of bees in pollinating the nation’s food supply. It is also used to get new people interested in bee keeping by giving them hands-on experience handling and taking care of a hive before they start their own. An exotic pest is threatening the bee population, making it more important than ever for people to start beehives.

“It used to be you could have bees. Now you have to keep bees,” Skelton said.

— By Becky Johnson

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceMary Harper was quite possibly the first real friend I made when I moved to Western North Carolina.

    With my apartment a few blocks away from the Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville, I ventured down there at night trying to see what was up in this town, trying to make some friends, and trying not to feel alone and isolated in a new place where I was unknown to all who surrounded me. Harper, with her million-dollar smile and swagger, immediately made me feel at home. 

    Written on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00