By Elle McLogan

MATTITUCK, NY (CBSNewYork) – Christopher Kelly has a backyard full of bees—and he likes it that way.

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He is the owner of Promised Land Apiaries, a sustainably managed honeybee farm.

“Every bee yard creates a different honey,” he said. “Right in my home yard here, black locust happens to be one of the big honey plants.”

It yields honey that’s delicate and floral.

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Having worked with bees for decades, Kelly no longer feels the need to wear a bee suit for protection. He checks on his hives with bare arms and hands.

“I do not get stung very often,” he said. “Stinging is a defensive behavior of bees. It’s not the first thing a honeybee is thinking about when you see it out in the clover field. Most bees, when you get near them, they run away from you.”

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Kelly keeps a close relationship with his bees.

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“Bees are a little bit like children. Children introduce you to the world in a different way. They have different interests,” he said. “And bees introduce you to your environment in a whole different way because they show you the plants and the life that’s in your area. And that, to me, is really cool.”

Bees not only teach us about our environment but also play a key role in supporting it.

“They’re basically the great fertilizers for fruit and vegetables that we all love,” he said.

Parasites, pesticides, and environmental damage are a source of worry for Kelly.

“I have great concern about the long-term survival of the honeybee,” he said.

What can we do to help bees survive?

“Not everybody can keep bees, but almost anybody can plant flowers,” he said.

Promised Land Apiaries
(631) 275-5786

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Elle McLogan