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Local beekeeper discusses the importance of bees on World Bee Day



GARRETSON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – May 20th is World Bee Day, a day to acknowledge the importance of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem.

Duane Duerr is a beekeeper in and around the Brandon area with between 20 to 30 hives in currently six different locations. Duerr knows the importance of bees.

“Well, bees help pollinate a lot of different plants and flowers. They help pollinate legume crops like alfalfas. They help pollinate soybean plants, anything like that, and they draw honey from those,” said Duerr.

There are a lot of challenges to being a beekeeper. The greatest challenge according to Duerr is keeping the bees alive.

“It’s struggling, some varroa mites, it’s a mite that gets on bees in the area and we need to be treating for that every spring and fall and then, there’s issues with sprays and pesticides,” said Duerr.

For someone thinking about getting into beekeeping, be prepared to spend around $500 for a hive. Then, there’s purchasing the bees, the safety gear, and the smoker, just for starters.

“The more you can do for yourself and the less money you spend, the better you’ll enjoy it, but if you’re getting in it to get honey, it’s probably going to be an expensive source of honey,” said Duerr.

Duerr sells his honey weekly at the Brandon Farmer’s Market.

“There are so many benefits that local honey offers. If you have allergies, they say that it helps. I don’t have allergies, but they say that it helps you with allergies, it helps reduce allergies. It’s supposed to help you with inflammation, it helps lower inflammation, things like that, but there’s a lot of things that relatively local honey makes a difference,” said Duerr.

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