City of bees may offer relief for allergy sufferers

Honeybees offer three main benefits to humans: honey, pollen, and beeswax.

By Sonya

COTTAGEVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Nestled away in Cottageville is the Sweetest Little Town in the World, known as Bee City.

It's a place where kids and adults alike can learn first-hand about the black and yellow insects called honeybees. But what is all the buzz about? Well they offer three benefits to humans: beeswax, pollen, and honey.

"Local honey is good for allergies and the reason that is it is local unprocessed honey or raw honey has traces of pollen and the allergens in it," said Scott Biering, owner of Bee City. "It actually helps your body build immunity up to the local allergens."

And if that doesn't help with the sniffling and sneezing, then there is another option -- the pollen.

"Those grains were actually the grains that bees fly around on their legs with so you don't get much more natural than that but it helps people with their allergies, energy and it's a vitamin supplement as well," said Biering.

Bees are also key in pollination process.

"They are responsible for 80 percent of all pollination, which is every third bite of food we put in our mouth and without them -- you listen to different scientists and they say in 7 years, the Earth will be out of food if the honeybees disappear today," said Biering.

Their vital role is why it's important to save them, which is exactly what Bee City does.

"I actually go out and save hives and come back and instead of destroying them," said Biering. "I want to make sure we increase the number of hives and are being good stewards."

But the right time of year is crucial when starting new hives.

"You want to start them right now within this first good warm week, plenty of nectar. Bees have a chance to first start our hives, first year hives," said Biering. "A chance to build up their nectar, their honey supply so they can survive through the winter."

There are currently over 200 hives within 10 miles of the sweetest little town in the world.

"Average hive will produce 75 pounds of pollen per year, which you weigh it out that's a lot," said Biering. "We can get 30 to 35 pounds off of a hive easy and some years when it's longer span you get a lot more so you multiply it by 200 hives and you get quite a bit."

But there is more to Bee City than the bees, there are lots of other animals that kids can learn about including monkeys, pigs, and even lemurs.

It's all about teaching the public about different animals and how to respect nature.

Bee City is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are open for field trips year round and are open additional days in the summer.

For more information, click here.

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