Home Lifestyle Sharing a treasure: Richmond County beekeeper gifts hives to doctor

Sharing a treasure: Richmond County beekeeper gifts hives to doctor

David Snead gifted several of his bee hives to Dr. Chris Johnson. While the first two colonies abandoned the hive, the latest bees produced a bountiful honey harvest.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Chris Johnson


Longtime Richmond County resident David Snead has been beekeeping since his youth. It is something that runs in his blood, as his father and grandfather were also beekeepers. 

This year, Snead decided to do something special with a few of his hives: he chose to gift three of them to a local doctor and his family. 

Snead met Dr. Chris Johnson at a visit one day about four years ago. Educating people about the importance of bees is one of Snead’s specialties. A few years ago, in a casual conversation regarding bees, Johnson mentioned how he was making improvements to his property to be a wildlife habitat and would like to have a few hives on his farm to help pollinate the plants. 

“Before I knew it, Snead had brought me two of his hives, but they left the property soon after; I’m not sure what went wrong,” said Johnson. 

This abandonment is called absconding, when bees completely leave their hives, which could be due to a number of reasons. 

Earlier this year, Snead surprised Johnson with three more hives. 

During harvest time, Johnson showed his appreciation in helping Snead harvest honey as well as harvesting his own at the same time; and in doing so was able to get more hands-on experience for future harvesting. 

This year’s bountiful harvest more than made up for the exiting bees a few years ago.

“My hives did good this year, but the doctor’s hives did much better than mine” said Snead. “They must really like their new location.” 

Gifting his bees was a big step for Snead as he is very protective over them and thinks of his bees as others think of their pets.

As flowering plants come to an end, bees seem to disappear.

But don’t be deceived — these busy buzzers are still up to preparing for the next harvest as they don’t hibernate like many other insects. They remain active inside their hives as they huddle to protect and keep the queen bee warm. 


The beekeeper will leave a certain amount of honey in each hive to provide food for the bees during winter months. Several thousand bees will die during the winter months, but in the spring, the queen bee will begin laying eggs once again to replenish the buzzing population. 

“Beekeeping is a fascinating journey and David is very generous and gracious in sharing his hives and knowledge of beekeeping,” said Johnson. 

Snead’s generosity not only blessed Johnson and his family, but helps to continue the importance of raising bees for the survival of mankind.