“BUZZY” TAKES ON NEW MEANING AT EAST HAMPTON’S BONAC BEES, WHERE BEEKEEPER DEBORAH KLUGHERS IS BUSY UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF LOCAL HONEY. BY CAMILLE CAUTI
“Buzzy” takes on new meaning at East Hampton’s Bonac Bees, where beekeeper Deborah Klughers is busy unlocking the secrets of local honey.
Hamptons: Congrats on your award-winning honey. Deborah Klughers: “I have the pollen in my honey analyzed. Raw local honey works wonders for seasonal allergies. I put it in coffee, cereal, salads— you name it. I’ve made some mighty fine mead that has also won awards!”
What do you tell people who fear bees? “Honey bees aren’t aggressive. They die after they sting! But they may sting to defend the colony. They often give warnings, like bumping into you or lining up together and staring you down. Although I don’t want them to die, I do welcome stings. The venom treats many ailments. I don’t get stung enough!”
There’s so much dire news about wild bees. “In 2016, seven species were placed on the US endangered list. The rusty patched bumble bee, once common in our area, was added in 2017. Its population declined by almost 90 percent in 20 years! Honey bees pollinate a third of our food; if we lose them, the food supply will be directly affected.”
How can people help? “Learn about beekeeping and start a hive, plant flowers that bloom in all seasons, leave some of your property wild, buy local honey, and don’t use chemical insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides. If you spot a swarm, or a colony moves in, don’t kill them—call a beekeeper!”
clockwise from top right: A beekeeper inspects the frames of a hive; available throughout the East End, Bonac Bees’ award-winning honey is only minimally processed and never heated; a Langstroth hive in a pollinator-friendly flower garden.