Bees create quite the buzz at North Aurora library

  • Bartlett beekeeper Reid Root shows a honeycomb frame during his "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper" presentation June 22. Last year, his bee hives in Batavia and South Elgin produced 1,200 pounds of honey.

    Bartlett beekeeper Reid Root shows a honeycomb frame during his "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper" presentation June 22. Last year, his bee hives in Batavia and South Elgin produced 1,200 pounds of honey. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • Bartlett apiarist Reid Root dons protective gear for his "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper" presentation at Messenger Public Library in North Aurora.

    Bartlett apiarist Reid Root dons protective gear for his "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper" presentation at Messenger Public Library in North Aurora. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • Honey products produced by Bartlett beekeeper Reid Root are showcased at his "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper" presentation. Ream's Meat Market in Elburn carries his products.

    Honey products produced by Bartlett beekeeper Reid Root are showcased at his "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper" presentation. Ream's Meat Market in Elburn carries his products. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • Bartlett apiarist Reid Root shows beekeeping gear during his "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper" presentation June 22 at Messenger Public Library in North Aurora.

    Bartlett apiarist Reid Root shows beekeeping gear during his "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper" presentation June 22 at Messenger Public Library in North Aurora. Courtesy of Al Benson

 
Submitted by Al Benson
Updated 7/8/2019 9:09 AM

On June 22, bees were the business at Messenger Public Library in North Aurora.

With words, slides, video clips and honey samples for tasting, Bartlett apiarist Reid Root presented "A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper." The beekeeper said, "This is my hobby gone extracurricular."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Root, who has been producing honey for 24 years, got into the business at age 15 at the invitation from a friend.

According to Root, his bees produced 1,200 pounds of honey last year from hives in Batavia and South Elgin. Ream's Meat Market in Elburn carries his products.

The beekeeper displayed a half-dozen varieties of liquid honey, including "chunky" honey, and offered samples of strawberry-flavored whipped honey for tasting.

Contrary to popular belief, Root said, honeybees are not usually aggressive, unlike hornets and wasps.

A member of Fox Valley Beekeepers Association, he said group members helped the Illinois State Beekeepers Association take top honors in a honey competition at the 2018 Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

Local beekeepers will participate in the August 2019 state fair by volunteering at a honey ice cream booth, talking to visitors about beekeeping and showing a live observation colony.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Root said honey is made in seven steps:

• Bees gather nectar;

• Enzymes are added in bees' stomachs;

• Liquid is regurgitated into another bee's mouth;

• Bees deposit liquid nectar into the comb;

• Bees fan liquid nectar with their wings to maintain a constant temperature;

• Nectar evaporates into honey;

• Bees seal honey in a comb with wax.

Root offered "fascinating facts" about beekeeping:

• A hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey.

• Bees visit 2,000,000 flowers to produce a pound of honey.

• An average worker bee produces about a half teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Bees are the only insects that produce food for humans.

• One bee colony can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey annually.

• One out of three mouthfuls of food consumed by humans is produced by bee pollination.

• Honey was included in the tombs of Egyptian kings.

• Unprocessed honey's health benefits include cough medicine, allergy relief and a digestion aid.

• Nearly a third of U.S. honeybee colonies have vanished since 2006. Colony collapse disorders include pesticides, habitat loss, parasites and climate change.

More information is available from Root at (847) 812-8927 or email reidroot1@gmail.com.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.