Lushly forested West Virginia is a ideally suited to the production of rich, golden honey, and North Bend State Park is fostering the industry this year by hosting a free beekeeping program February 28.
Master Beekeeper Janet Clayton will host a free program at 6:30 p.m. at the park lodge during which she will discuss bee-keeping operations.
"What type of beekeeping operation do you want to have — honey production, queen production, bee production, pollination?" Clayton asked.
"The answer to that question will determine what type of management you need to conduct in your apiary. While several goals may be accomplished simultaneously, others conflict and will most likely lead to failure one way or the other. We will discuss management aspects for each."
A good hive in West Virginia can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per season, and the average retail price per pound of honey in 2018 was $7.32, which means beekeepers can potentially earn $732 in supplemental income per hive per season.
Twenty hives could generate $15,000 worth of honey per season, to say nothing of income generated through wax products, such as candles and lip balm.
Clayton maintains 15 hives but has managed as many as 80 in Barbour County over 28 years and has much information to share with prospective and current keepers.
Admission to the program is free, and participants are welcome to attend without prior arrangement, according to Kristi Steed, group-sales coordinator for the park.
North Bend is located in north-central West Virginia south of U.S. 50 near Cairo and Harrisville, West Virginia — a drive of approximately 30 minutes east of Parkersburg and an hour west of Clarksburg.
For more information, visit the park website or call 304-643-2931.