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Up Close and Personal With Some Honey Bees at NYS Fair

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Up Close and Personal With Some Honey Bees at NYS Fair
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There are all sorts of animals at the fair, and people line up to get a close look. But while you expect crowds for the cows, horses and pigs, you might be surprised at another popular exhibit. Reporter Katie Gibas got up close and personal with some honey bees.

NEW YORK STATE FAIR -- "We produce about six million pounds of honey in New York state. It's a large business, but it's a hard business for us bee keepers with the loss of bees. There was 70 percent loss on the East Coast this winter due to the harsh winter," said Ted Elk, the Many Flowers Honey Company owner.

That's why bee keepers are having to work extra hard to get production up this year. A productive hive will have around 100,000 bees.

"When you pull the cover off. Bees have a song that they sing if you will. A happy hive will have a nice, dull hum to it. An unhappy hive will sound like a jet engine, just a roar to it," said Elk.

So what you guys see right now, this is a frame of brand new baby bees. There are several of these frames inside one of these boxes. And despite us taking this out right now, once the season begins, this actually gets to stay inside and the bees get to do their work.

"Everytime you go in and you start pulling frames apart, it would be no different than the next door neighbor coming in to your house and moving your furniture around. It's that same scenario and it takes them two or three days to get back into a routine," said Elk.

Bee keepers said happy and productive hives are important for more than just honey production.

Almost everything we put down for groceries, apples, fruit, alfalfa, clover, all that stuff needs to be pollinated by the bee to produce the seeds," said Elk.

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