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Kidsday: Why I like being a beekeeper

I like bees. I like them a lot. Because I like them so much, I have decided to become a beekeeper. My family takes care of about a half million honeybees. I wake up very early before school to feed them sugar, water and flattened beetles.

You have to protect yourself from stings by wearing a big suit that is connected to pants. Once you put the suit on, you have to pull up your socks so that the honeybees don't go in your boots to sting you. You also have to put a hat over the hood net that goes over your face. When you wear a bee suit, it feels like you are a robot, but I've been a beekeeper for about four years, so I'm used to it.

In one box, there are nine trays of frames. The bees think that these plastic trays are real hives, so they build combs on them. You need to use a special smoking gun that calms the bees so that they don't swarm. It takes thousands and thousands of bees to make a jar of honey.

Bees can stay outside when it's warm. You should look to see if the bees are making honey and check if the queen bee is still there. The queen makes sure the worker bees do their jobs.

In the winter, I have a special metal cover, and it keeps the snow from leaking through the wood bee case. Bees wings get stuck together if it is under 50 degrees. It has to be above 70 degrees for bees to fly. Bees have to always fly straight because if they lose their balance, they will fall.

Warning! Never stand in front of a hive.

My fascination began about four years ago when I visited my aunt in Orient. Her friend was a beekeeper. My parents liked my interest, and they helped me by getting me the smoking gun, bee outfit and bee boxes. Then, I started collecting bees. It didn't work. After a while, the bees I collected either took off or died. I needed a queen bee. Another family friend in Mattituck gave me a more detailed explanation on beekeeping.

This year, I am getting a queen bee and will start my business. I keep my bee box in the backyard, away from everyone.

Yes, I have been stung. It hurts a little, but it is all part of the job.

CLASS OF THE WEEK: Kevin McGoey and Jennifer Drower's fourth-grade class, SOUTHOLD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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