MOUNT GILEAD — Honey bees are a significant part of Angie and Bill Drake’s life work. This year they’re spending a week of their vacation at the Morrow County Fair manning the Morrow County Bee display in the commercial building.
Angie is the second of four generations of bee keepers in Morrow County. The tradition of keeping bees began with Angie’s father, Richard Davis and has been carried on with Angie, her sons and lately her grandson Liam.
Bill is very proud that Angie’s honey won both Best of class and Best of show at the Morrow County Fair this year. Angie said their bees are in good health despite the national news that many bees are dying.
Angie said their inspector Doug Stanton said that mites have been a bad problem this summer for bees in Delaware County. But Drakes have not had problems with mites – at least so far.
The Drakes said their bees didn’t swarm as much as usual this year. They did get one swarm that got into the walls of a home in Big Island in Marion County. They get calls often when people get swarms. One of the most unusual calls was getting a swarm out of a wine barrel.
Their son William is the member of the family who crafts bees wax into candles and other novelties that are available at the fair. Recently they’ve seen their grandson, Liam getting interested in bees and their hives. He likes honey on cereal and lots of other foods.
“We got a call from Liam last week,” said Angie. “He said Grandma, it’s an emergency. We’re out of honey.’”
Bill commented that honey is a wonderful natural sweetener. He added that local honey is best to help with allergies and is known to be good to strengthen the immune system.