Thursday, 25 July 2019 13:09

Richmond County beekeeper continues family tradition

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Richmond County beekeeper David Snead stands behind jars of honey. Richmond County beekeeper David Snead stands behind jars of honey. Betty McIntyre - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Local beekeeper David Snead is at it again this year after a very productive harvest in 2018. 


Not long after the 73-year-old’s harvest last year, he had a stroke and wasn’t sure if he would be able to continue the family tradition of beekeeping — in which he has been a part of since age 4. 

He took it easy throughout the remainder of 2018 and is thankful to be able to continue once again with his love for beekeeping.   

Snead recently completed his harvest for 2019 totaling 15 gallons of honey; not quite as plentiful as last year’s harvest. 

Beekeeping is a year-round job; as the end of one harvest takes place, a new one begins. 

“My bees are just as important to me as someone’s dog or cat,” he said, adding his concern for the bees’ wellbeing when the county sprays for mosquitoes. “I can cover them when the weather is cooler, but when it is hot outside they cannot be covered. They cannot survive harsh chemical sprays.” 

He abides by all government regulations regarding beekeeping, and he desires community awareness of how bees are vital to mankind as they pollinate agricultural plants. 

They collect the nectar from flowering plants and transfer it to the honeycomb in the hive. An extractor is used to harvest the honey as the beekeeper removes the wax covering first then places the frames into the honey extractor. 

The force from the extractor draws the honey out of the cells without destroying them; they are then returned to the hives. The honey is collected in containers, filtered, and jarred. 

There are several other products which are made from the bees’ wax, including cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, and candles. The pollen is also collected from the bees as they enter the hives and is used as a nutritional supplement. 

He recently had a visit from a Moore County doctor and his family as they participated and were educated in the process of harvesting honey. Not only did they leave with more knowledge of the beekeeping process, but also with two jars of fresh-poured honey to enjoy. 

For more information on beekeeping or if you know of a hive that needs relocating, contact your local agricultural office.