The Story of a... Beekeeper

With dozens of hives to watch over, JEAN VASICEK, 50, owner of Winter Park Honey, stays as busy as a…well, you know.

Photo By Norma Lopez Molina

My brother gave me a beehive and it sat in my yard for six years until I got kind of curious about honey. Someone from the Orange Blossom Beekeepers Association taught me how to extract honey out of my hive and it was the best stuff I’d ever tasted. I’ve been doing this for about 10 years now.

I have close to 120 hives. My apiaries cover all around Central Florida, from Apopka to the Disney area. In Florida you can extract honey pretty much all year.

I have a degree in physics. Before I was a beekeeper I worked for NASA and other aerospace companies.

I’ve been stung thousands of times. When you’re doing bee rescues and removals you get stung a lot. When I first started getting stung, I couldn’t see out of my eyes, my jaw would swell. I looked horrible. But the more you get stung the less you swell.
I cut the tip of my finger off once. I went to the emergency room where the doctors said they didn’t think they could successfully sew it back on; so, I went home. I cured it myself by dipping my finger in honey four or five times a day for 10 minutes. Honey is a natural antibiotic.

Bees live for around 30 days. I visit my bees once a week. I don’t think that’s enough time for them to get to like me. But what happens is that I’m not afraid of them, and they sense that. 

If there’s a blossom, then there’s a honey that’s made from it. People can’t believe there’s such a thing as avocado honey.

You start off with an empty hive. Find a field that has nothing in it, except for a single flower species that is blooming fast and strong, and put the bees in the middle of it. When the blooming stops, you have to extract the honey or it will get mixed with other flowers’ nectar.

German queens, Australian queens, small and black, big and orange. I have about every type of bee in my hive.

Most beekeepers in the U.S. have become migratory beekeepers where they’re doing pollination instead of honey production. When they move bees across the country, north to south, east to west, it makes the bees sick. Then mites could give them viruses, the bees die and things like the food chain go out of control. Primarily, this is the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder.

Einstein said if the bee disappeared from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live. A lot of the produce in the grocery store that we’re just used to grabbing from the shelves won’t be there. It’s a domino effect; when one thing goes away a lot of other things go with it.

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Orlando's Top Chiropractors of 2015

Check out our searchable 2015 list of some of the best chiropractors in the Orlando area.

Ask a Vet 2015

Local vets answer some important questions about your pets.

Premier Veterinarians 2015

Check out our searchable 2015 list of some of the best vets in the Orlando area.

Choosing a Graduate School

Programs at UCF and Rollins College

Top Vets 2014

Check out our searchable 2014 list of some of the best vets in Orange and Seminole counties.

Premier Realtors

Let Orlando's best realtors help you find your dream home!

Wedding Resource Guide

Find the best wedding vendors in Orlando.

Summer Getaways 2015

Summer is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Holiday Dining

Special-Occasion Dining for the Holidays in Orlando

Great Scott!

Comedian Carrot Top returns to his old stomping ground for a show at The Plaza Live! on Dec. 14.

Weekend Happenings in Orlando November 20 to 22

Find the best events in and around the city for the weekend.

A Runner's Paradise

Destination Marathons and Running Races Near Orlando

Weekend Happenings in Orlando November 13 to 15

Find the best events in and around the city for the weekend.
Edit Module