15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Johnny’s interest in honey bees began when he and his family caught a swarm of bees that were living in their old farm house. Since 2013, Johnny has been certified to sell nucleus colonies packages of bees and queen honey bees. Additionally, Johnny builds and sells custom built beehives and observation hives made from North Carolina lumber. He also helps to manage and operate Johnny’s Honey Bee Farm and Supplies, a family owned business.
The most interesting aspect of beekeeping to Johnny, is the process of queen rearing, the time taken to graft the queen bees and observing which cells will become healthy queens.
The biggest issue Johnny is facing as a beekeeper is the illusive and highly destructive small hive beetle. However, the weather has had a big impact on Johnny and his bees, due to rapidly changes weather patterns that include what appear to be shorter winters and cold snaps occurring at inconvenient times. Johnny’s advice for other beekeepers, both beginner and experienced, is to conduct as much research as possible on honey bees and be open to experimentation. Johnny and his father have experimented extensively with various beekeeping techniques and have even successfully placed two queen bees in one hive and can prove its success. Furthermore, Johnny’s advice for non-beekeepers that want to help honey bees is to maintain bee friendly gardens and strive to keep open communication with local farmers.
© Jefferson Lankford.
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||April 28, 2017, 12:31 p.m.