BEVERLY (CBS) – It happens here in Beverly, a seaside community that claims to be the birthplace of the United States Navy. It was also the summer White House of President William Howard Taft and the site of the first cotton mill in America.
Tucked away in a wooded area in the Beverly Farms neighborhood, you’ll find Anita Deeley caring for more than a million honey bees. “We help people help bees,” she explained.
What started out as a hobby after a trip to the Topsfield Fair, turned into a job as a Massachusetts State Bee Inspector. But last year, she left that job to focus on her own business, Beverly Bees.
They make award-winning honey and beeswax candles. But Anita’s true passion is helping to support the bee population in Massachusetts.
“We rescue bees from people’s houses, from swarms. Then we bring them here, and we rehabilitate them,” Anita explained.
The woods behind her home is scattered with dozens of wooden beehives, many of which have been rescued.
By rescue, we mean the bees and the homeowners. Anita’s husband Brian recently pulled a massive bee colony out from behind the wall of a Winchester man’s bedroom. He had to saw a three foot square into the sheetrock to expose the combs and the bees, thousands of them. “I have a special vacuum that draws them into a cage without killing them,” he said.
The bee colony is then placed on the Deeley’s property, but it will take some time to recover. “No one likes to be forcibly evicted,” Brian said, only half joking.
When the bees get stronger, they are available for what the Deeley’s call their Host a Hive program. They’ll move a hive of bees onto your property and help you take care of them. In return, the home or business owner gets a share of the honey and the benefit of the bees work.
“We have people who are like gentlemen farmers and backyard gardeners who are not seeing any bees and they want them for pollination,” Anita explained.
Anita and Brian are also trying to educate the public that pesticides threaten bee populations which are vitally important for pollinating fruits and vegetables.
“In addition to that they pollinate food that cows eat,” Anita explained. “Without honeybees, we wouldn’t have ice cream or hamburgers. We wouldn’t have coffee or chocolate.”