Tribune-Courier News Reporter
During a 30-year span, David Cassity has kept busy with his dentistry practice, family and coaching sports teams in Marshall County, but last year he decided to return to an interest he had while an undergraduate at Murray State – beekeeping.
Cassity stumbled upon beekeeping by chance while in college as he was one credit short of a bachelor’s degree in biology. His options were to take a three-hour credit in molecular biology or a one-hour credit in beekeeping.
He took the beekeeping course and said he enjoyed the class a great deal, but following it and dental school at the University of Louisville his life became too busy for the hobby.
“I started last year with one hive because I just wanted to see if I’d like it,” he said. “I ended up falling in love with it. So this year I purchased more hives and built some myself.”
What started out as one hive, has in a year turned into a 19-hive project.
On Friday morning, Cassity – garbed in a beekeeper’s mask, suit and gloves – merged two hives, one of which was without a queen.
While using Duct Tape to seal the first hive, Cassity explained that because of the wet season the region has had this year there hasn’t been as much honey production.
“Because of all the rain flowers have grown well, but the rain has washed away all the nectar the bees use to make their honey,” he said. “I view my bees as livestock so I feed them sugar water.”
He explained he was merging two hives – which were on opposite sides of a large field – because one hive didn’t have a queen.
“Each hive should have a queen, workers, which are female, and drones, males that are only used for breeding,” he said. “Without a queen the hive will swarm.”
Cassity said he he enjoys collecting the honey from the bees, but has only collected around 50 pounds because he’s always busy creating new hives.
When Cassity arrived at the location of the second hive he used smoke to calm the bees at the hive with the queen before merging the two hives – creating a larger, single hive with a queen.
After leaving the field and the hives, he said he raised bees as a hobby, but still enjoyed his dental practice and said it was still his source of income.
Beekeeping, he said, was something he spent three to five hours a week on that gave him time to relax.
For more pictures focused on the merging of two beehives, visit us online at tribunecourier.com.