Beekeeping as a hobby is on the rise, learn all about it at the Farm Show


One exhibit that's attracting a lot of attention this year is a hobby that's on the rise, beekeeping.

The bee exhibit is easy to find. It's right through the McClay Street entrance by the butter sculpture.

In the midst of the Farm Show you can find hives, honeybees and a man who knows a thing or two about them.

"I’m intrigued with how amazing, what bees can do and just the biology and everything they do," Charlie Vorisek explained.

Besides making delicious honey, wine and candles, bees create pollen to feed more than 80 crops.

"If we want fruits and vegetables and things like that we need pollinators," Vorisek said.

Vorisek became a beekeeper after his daughter did a high school project about them back in 1992. Years later he made it his full-time job, now serving in a number of positions across the state.

"I’ve been successful in making it full time so here I am. I just keep going. It's been an interesting ride," Vorisek said.

From studying colony collapse to pollen protection, he's trying to educate new beekeepers about what it takes.

"The biggest hurdle is helping the beekeepers learn how to do it right," Vorisek explained.

Vorisek said about 5 years ago there were 2,000 registered beekeepers, today there are more than 5,000. 94 percent of them having 30 or fewer colonies.

"So the majority of beekeepers out there are backyard homeowners and they're just getting into the industry," Vorisek said.

Vorisek said it's important to teach beginners how to protect the bees, use them efficiently to serve as pollen creators so they can help make the number of bees in the state grow.

"We still lose too many bees. We do a survey each spring and we are still losing 50 percent of the bees in PA. It's huge. We need to improve that," Vorisek said.

Vorisek is encouraging more backyard beekeepers to stay at it and help bring their own bees to farms that need them across the state.

The booth will be at the Farm Show all week for anyone interested in learning more.

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