Becky Dineen Howe, A Bee’s Place, LLC

Becky is a beekeeper who curates local honey here in Pinellas County, Florida with hives in St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Seminole, Dunedin and Tierra Verde.

Why are you a beekeeper?

You know people ask you that “Why do you do this?” You know, we get stung a lot, people ask “do you get used to it?” No, it’s still hurts! But what’s great about it is the bees are just calming and they’re such a magnificent creature, all the things that they can do, and the intelligence of the bee is amazing, so I really find it peaceful.

What is something you’d like people to know about bees?

That of course 1/3 of our food source comes from the pollination of the bees. Every 1/3 of what you eat wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have the bees pollinate.

What can people do to help bees?

Plant bee friendly plants! This can simply be allowing Florida wildflowers to flourish in your yard such as Spanish needle, yellow primrose and spiderwort, to planting citrus and fruit trees or berries. Even trees like bottlebrush, powderpuff, crape myrtle or golden rain help feed them. Bees seem to love ground covers such as Mexican clover and shrubby false buttonweed. Flowering plants such as purple porterweed, sweet almond, salvia, and bee balm are great for bees and other pollinators.

Bee on Spanish Needle

A bee on a Spanish needle plant.

What do you do if you find bees in a place where you don’t want them?

As much as I love bees, I don’t want them in my house either, or maybe in a tree that I have to pass by every day that they’re buzzing my head, so I certainly understand that. At A Bee’s Place we also do bee removals and we relocate the bees to an apiary such as this, I have five different apiaries that we can take our bees to, and we nurse them and take good care of them!

How do bees make different “flavors” of honey?

All of our honey is all natural from the bees, the nectar that bees go out and gather is what they bring back, and that’s what flavors the honey. So even our spring, summer and fall honey from the same yard, will taste a little different because of the flowers that they’ve actually gone out and gotten the nectar from. To get a single source honey such as orange blossom or blackberry honey beekeepers move their bees to the fields so the bees can forage primarily on their blossoms which produce the lovely varieties.  Honey from all different parts of the country is like fine wine, all have wonderful color and taste differences.

Where can your honey be purchased?

Of course, at Rollin’ Oats! Rollin’ Oats was really our very first store that we put our honey in, so we were really happy to do that. You can also go online and order directly at abeesplace.com