BIG FLATS, N.Y. (WETM) – Spring is finally here, and while most residents are getting ready for the warmer weather and blooming flowers across New York State, some residents are also looking to promote more bee apiaries.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, all of New York’s bees have an ecological role in making the wilderness diverse and healthy. Planting a garden with native plants instead of ornamental ones is vital to maintaining a safe haven for all pollinators.

Burt Beebe, beekeeper and owner of Honey Bee Made, has his own apiary and safe haven for pollinators in Big Flats.

“For me it’s a personal thing,” said Burt. “It’s a love affair. I started out with two colonies, and then expanded into forty and will be at one hundred by the end of the year.”

The bees in Burt’s apiary are kept safe all year round, even at times when the weather is not that great. Some bees may be harmful, but they are very important in keeping nature alive.

“Bees give us pollination, and we need pollination especially with our agriculture in our country at this time,” said Burt. “They pollinate our fruit trees, cucumber fields, pumpkin fields, and almond fields out in California. As far as humans go, we reap from that as well. We get local honey, we get beeswax, we get propolis, pollen…it’s kind of a circle of life thing.”

Burt also adds that beekeeping can be a very rewarding experience. He encourages residents in New York State and across the country to do it not just for ourselves, but for nature as well. Burt’s apiary is located at 12009 Rt. 352 in Big Flats, about one mile west of Willow Creek Golf Club.