Louisiana Traveler - Beekeepers - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Louisiana Traveler - Beekeepers

DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - A group of novice and would-be beekeepers recently suited up in protective gear to check hive boxes at Richard Hebert's bee yard near DeRidder. The group is part of the first basic beekeeper training class offered by the LSU AgCenter. Beauregard Parish County Agent Keith Hawkins says the class met regularly during the summer.

"We started with the different varieties of bees, biology," said County Agent Keith Hawkins. "We discussed configuration of the hives, the accessories that you need, bee products."

Richard Hebert keeps about 70 hives of bees, some on his property and others in orchards.

"You can look at pictures all day long and not really get a grasp of what it is to actually hold a frame of bees, to open a hive and to hear the buzz and listen to the bees talk," said Hebert.

Mary Waguespack brought her three grandchildren to the bee yard because they are interested in the bees she is keeping. She says she took the course to become a better beekeeper even though she already has four hives. She got her first harvest of honey earlier this month.

"We did harvest nine frames of honey, and we have two and half gallons of honey, which was 35 pounds, and it was real exciting to have your own honey," said Waguespack.

More and more local honey products are showing up at farmers markets like the one behind old City Hall in Lake Charles.

"It's a lot different from most honey because it's raw and all natural," said beekeeper Cedric Long. "It's not pasteurized. It's really rich. It's good for allergies. I've had countless people come up to me and say my allergies are a lot better because they take it every day."

Hawkins says basic beekeeper training could begin in other parts of Louisiana.

For more information on beekeeping issues from the LSU AgCenter, go to:

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/communications/publications/Publications+Catalog/Environment/Bees/



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