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AGRICULTURE : Lots of Bees Mean Lots of Honey, Thus, It’s ‘Honey Month’

Compiled by Anne Michaud

If you’ve been out in your back yard this year, you may already know this: There have been a lot of bees around, which means it has been a good year for honey production.

“There’s been an enormous increase in bumblebee activity, also yellow jackets,” said Robert Cosgrove, who owns the 100-beehive Aliso Canyon Honey Co. in Laguna Beach. He removes uninvited bees from back yards as one of his services.

In fact, the National Honey Board is predicting the best honey harvest in three years. In light of this, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Edward Madigan has declared September “National Honey Month.”

Cosgrove said his bees have produced about 25% more honey this year than last, due to the 3 inches of rain that fell on the Southland in March. The rain came at the right moment to water wildflowers, such as sage and buckwheat, which supply nectar for the bees. The honey harvest will end this month.

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Cosgrove estimates that there are 12,000 hives in Orange County. His hives have produced 200 to 250 pounds of honey each this year.

The Honey Board, based in Longmont, Colo., said honey production is up throughout the country because of warmer temperatures and above-normal rainfall.


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