SARTELL -- This week in our “Behind the Scenes” series on WJON, we see what's buzzing around one local bee keepers house.

What started as an idea quickly became a hobby for local bee keeper Tim Fenlason.

He has been bee keeping for five years right in his own backyard.

"I joined the Tri-County Bee Keepers Association and ordered bees through them and hooked up with a mentor that I could ask questions," says Fenlason.

Fenlason has three hives of his own which he checks every few weeks. The process begins by wearing protective equipment and then smoking out the honey bees.

"What it does is alarms them there's a fire, they engorge on honey and feel like we do when we eat too much turkey on Thanksgiving," says Fenlason.

The hive inspections first begin by looking at the brood chambers, where the queen lays her eggs, which is important in having a strong hive.

"As long as I can see eggs I know there has been a queen in the hive within the last three days," says Fenlason.

Once inspection is complete its time to look at the top of the hive where the liquid gold is stored.

"When a honey frame is full of honey you will see that it's capped with wax and that's what I look for when I collect honey," says Fenlason.

Honey collections happen once a year. He says he starts by scrapping off the wax coating and placing the frames into an extractor.

"The frames sit inside and it spins around and the force pulls the honey out of the frames and on the sides where it drains into a bucket at the bottom," says Fenlason.

The entire process takes about five minutes and in one season he says he can collect about 200 pounds of honey.

Fenlason says he enjoys bee keeping and that it's a great way to help preserve the environment.

"It's critical to keep as many pollinators as we can and honey bees are a big part of that," says Fenlason.

 

Thousands of bees are hard at work making honey for us and themselves. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)