HIVE MEN­TAL­ITY

“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

Hamptons Magazine - - Contents - bonacbees.com .

“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.

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