DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - Richard Hebert has been farming bees for the better part of 12 years. He'll tell you it's a hobby with sweet results.
"It's not really overcrowded but it's full of bees right now," said Hebert. "What it takes to make honey is a lot of bees. And that's what you want to try to keep in your box this time of year is a lot of bees."
On his bee farm in DeRidder Hebert explained to his captive audience the art of the hive and collecting the honey.
"I usually try to check my hives from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. At that time the bees are out collecting pollen and nectar. Right now in the evening most of the population is back at the hive. The later it gets they don't liked to be messed with. And after sunset they really don't like to be disturbed," said Hebert.
To get a really good look protective suits and a little smoke is required. According to Hebert the smoke confuses the bees' sense of smell and communication to where you are able to handle the combs.
"This is a new comb and it's awful soft. In an old hive the comb is a lot harder. This hive is only about a month old," said Hebert.
While every hive has thousands of worker bees there can only be one queen.
"The queen bee is usually a lot bigger than a worker bee," said Hebert.
The queen bee is responsible for keeping the hive going and populating the colony with new bees.
"There's some new eggs there. That little tiny white speck - those are eggs," said Hebert.
While there is a risk of being stung Hebert encourages others to take up what can be a sweet business.
"Get a hive and get started. They are pretty easy to keep. There's not a whole lot of maintenance to them. The do take a little bit of care and time but it's a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. We need bees. They are good pollinators and the world needs them," said Hebert.
If you would like to get involved in bee farming Hebert said contact your local Ag Center for resources to get started.