MURFREESBORO, Tenn, (WMOT) -- The number of Tennesseans keeping bees has grown dramatically in recent years, according to local keepers.
Nashville Area Beekeepers Association President Joel White says the number of active hives in the state continues to grow.
"in 2007, there were less than 6,000 colonies of bees in the State of Tennessee. Last year, for the first time, it’s gone over 20,000. So, yes, more people are becoming interested in it. Last year in our beginning bee school that we had in February we had 123 people take the class.”
The Association is planning a two day bee keeping class for beginners staring February 7.
White says you don’t have to have a lot of space to keep bees, noting that there are two colonies on top of the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in downtown Nashville. White says a hive can contain 60,000 bees and produce more than 100 pounds of honey a year.
The class, scheduled for February 7 and 8 in Nashville, will cover the biology of bees, equipment use and costs, common mistakes, and hive management.
According to White, bee keeping is increasingly popular because more people are using honey instead of sugar, while others just want to know where their food comes from.
To learn more, visit nashbee.org.