Beekeeper hopes to save bee population in Cape Fear region

In the StarNewsOnline

By Terry Reilly

With the collapse of honey bee colonies throughout the United States, one St. James resident is trying to make a difference.

Larry Wyte is the accidental beekeeper who started his hobby after receiving beekeeping equipment as a Christmas gift in 2012. Wyte joined a local beekeepers association and established his first hive last year.

Not everyone liked the idea. One neighbor filed a complaint with the St. James Property Owners Association, which then banned beekeeping in March.

Rather than confrontation, Wyte began an educational campaign to win over the POA and his neighbors.

It worked.

In June, the POA grandfathered Wyte and his two-hive operation and passed an ordinance that allows beekeeping in St. James. The law has a few caveats, including a minimum lot size of a half-acre, a water source and setback parameters.

The new ordinance has one other requirement that would have thwarted Wyte: “All abutting property owners must give written approval.”

Last month, Wyte harvested more than 50 pounds of honey. With one bee producing just a quarter of a teaspoon of honey during a one-year lifespan, Wyte’s 100,000 bees produced about 100 pounds of honey. Half of that amount was left as food to allow the bees to survive the winter.

Wyte delivered one-pound jars of honey to many of his neighbors along with some honey bee facts. For example, bees are the only insect that produces food that is edible by humans.

Keith Holman, who lives a few houses away from Wyte, is glad that Wyte began beekeeping. “It’s been a benefit to the neighborhood. I just wish more people would do it,” he said.

Read the rest at StarNewsOnline.

Halyburton to pull nonnative mimosa trees

Several dozen mimosa trees, a non-native invasive species, have taken root in Wilmington’s Halyburton Park and will be removed during the coming months, according to park officials.

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