Beekeeper explains value of bees as Canfield ushers in new law


Bill DeHoff starts each day the same way: with a spoonful of peanut butter and a spoonful of honey.

DeHoff is the proprietor of Bill’s Apiaries, where he sells unprocessed honey, provides a bee swarm removal service and mentors new beekeepers. He said his fascination with bees spans 30 years, and about 14 years ago, he finally decided to buy a single bee colony.

DeHoff said he can’t attribute his morning dietary choices to his longevity, but at 81, he is still up and maintaining 30 bee colonies in the Mahoning Valley, 11 of which sit in his backyard.

“Who knows,” DeHoff said. “Maybe next year I’ll have 35.”

Canfield City Council passed an ordinance on July 5 that places regulations on how bees are kept in the city. The ordinance limits two bee colonies per property, but bees will still travel beyond property lines with a flight radius of about two miles.

“They’re not looking to sting somebody,” DeHoff said. “Only time they’ll sting you is if you swat at them. They’re not interested in you, they’re interested in what’s down there.”

He points to a catnip plant growing by his side patio. On it, five or six bees quietly gather nectar from its blooms.

Bee pollination accounts for one-third of the world’s food supply. Without bees almonds, apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, squash and a number of other fruits and vegetables would not grow.

Read more about their value and Canfield's new law in Friday's Vindicator or on

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