A queen cell with uncapped honey below and capped honey above. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Wayson.)

By Madison Warden

Who do you call when you have a sticky situation with a hive of honeybees? Bruce Wayson, who is a retired veteran located in Dover and a honeybee keeper rescuing and rehoming the creatures. Honeybees are a vital part of our ecosystem, as they play a role in keeping our herbs pollinated.

“Without them, 75 percent of our pollinated crops would disappear in a very short time,” Wayson said when asked about the importance of honeybees.

In addition to knowing why honeybees play a vital role in our ecosystem, having the knowledge on what to do when encountered with hives is key. Wayson has much experience in rehoming and rescuing hives that were in unlucky locations. In fact, he recently rescued a hive and queen from a cable box cover and rehomed them safely.

Wayson uses special beekeeping equipment, such as lemongrass oil, to motivate the hive to relocate. Lemongrass oil gives off a pheromone similar to that of a queen bee, and he uses it in a trap box, which is a wooden box, to help attract the bees and allow the rehoming process to begin.

Following this, the honeybees keep their hives in certain conditions for survival.

Wayson explained, “The bees keep the hive around 92 degrees. Keeping the hive at this temperature helps the development of the baby bees. Additionally, they fan the honey to evaporate the water in the honey. When bees bring back the nectar, it’s around 80 percent water, so they fan it out to till it’s down 20 percent water, and that’s when they cap it.”

Wayson added, “If the honey has too much moisture/water in it, the ferment will go bad.”

Wayson is a honeybee expert with much dedication to the profession, has seven years of experience helping them and has over 30 hives. To contact Wayson, call 813-995-5768.

For more information on beekeeping, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture by calling 813-478-8975.

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