Trumbull CountyBeekeepers bottle their ownlocal honey.
By AMY HOUSLEY
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BAZETTA -- Hundreds of fair visitors are gathered in the basement of the church at the Trumbull County Fair.
Despite the cramped space, the only sound from them is buzzing. They're the bees brought to the grounds by the Trumbull County Beekeepers.
The bees are visiting the fairgrounds, along with the beekeepers, to tell fairgoers about the world of beekeeping.
The Trumbull County Beekeepers have been around for more than 50 years.
President Gary Miller of Champion said there are 14 families in the beekeepers association. All of the members are volunteers.
Harold and Macel Peterson of Champion were at the fair Friday to talk about the bees. They've been involved with the beekeepers for more than 20 years.
A typical beehive
A healthy beehive can contain 50,000 bees, and only one of them is a queen. Drones mate with the queen and the workers care for the queen, collect nectar and produce wax combs.
The hives each can produce 30 pounds of honey and will be emptied two to three times per summer. The combs are on frames put into the hives by the beekeepers. The bees don't seem to notice the difference between those and ones they would naturally create.
"We try to peek in and see how they're doing," said Peterson.
The beekeepers risk getting stung, and often do. Peterson said that when a bee makes up its mind to get you, it will. He also said that the weather affects them.
"We stay away from them in bad weather," Macel said.
Harold said that once you've been stung, other bees will smell the sting and sting close to the first site.
A special breed
The beekeepers have developed a special breed of "stingless" green bees that fairgoers have to see to believe.
Also at the fair, beeswax candles, honey candies, and bottles of honey are for sale. The honey is all local honey, collected by the beekeepers. Although honey in a store might be labeled "clover" or some other type of honey, it is hard to identify the specific flower the nectar was gathered from. It is usually a mix, the beekeepers said.
The combs from a hive are placed in an extractor, strained, then bottled. It's pure raw honey, bottled in jars, and bear- and bee-shaped bottles.