Beekeeper hopes hives will help Harrisburg

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Denice Traina's first exposure to beekeeping came in 1986, when she was a Peace Corps volunteer assigned to a village in Paraguay.

Mrs. Traina holds a jar of honey produced by the hive.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Mrs. Traina holds a jar of honey produced by the hive.

"I was working with special needs children that year, and my closest friends there were beekeepers," she said. "The farmers knew all about making honey, and that's what got me interested."

Last year, Mrs. Traina combined her interest in beekeeping with an equally ardent desire to offer new opportunities to fellow residents of Augusta's historic Harrisburg community.

"Several of us got together and formed the Harrisburg Honey Cooperative," she said. "I have one hive already and another arriving soon."

Two neighbors joined Mrs. Traina in taking beekeeping classes, and more hives were added at their homes. Last fall, the inaugural honey harvest was proudly packaged into jars.

"You give away a lot when you do something like this, but we ended up taking to market about three cases of half-pints," she said. "We think it was a success, but we also want to expand it."

The cooperative is designed to foster relationships among neighbors and also to generate some revenue to help a low-income family with utilities and health care expenses.

"We even had a honey tasting during a neighborhood block party," she said. "We had samples from the different hives laid out on an ironing board and let everyone sample them."

The hives, which contain about 3,000 bees apiece, also benefit the neighborhood by improving pollination in flower and vegetable gardens, she said.

"I've lived here since 1990, and we have a pomegranate tree that had produced no fruit," she said. "Last year it produced again -- and we think it was the bees."

Instruction for Mrs. Traina and her fellow beekeepers was provided by the Richmond County Extension Service and its master gardener program -- and aided by an education grant from the local Sierra Club, she said. "We'd like to make the program even larger and, someday, start making candles and soap."

This year, the cooperative is seeking sponsors whose contributions can offset the cost of buying hives, tools and a honey extractor. The honey harvested won't be available until later this year, she said, but the group can take advance orders.

For information about the cooperative, its products or sponsorships, call Mrs. Traina at (866) 909-5699.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

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HillGuy
7
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HillGuy 03/24/09 - 01:27 am
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0
Considereing Harrisburg looks

Considereing Harrisburg looks like a third world country.. why can't we get the Peace Corps here to clean up Augusta??

Ole School
0
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Ole School 03/24/09 - 03:38 am
0
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what all does it entail , as

what all does it entail , as far as the city goes, any permits required ? . I live in Harlem and there is a hive in an old tree on my property , and I was thinking of putting them into a hive right there ,

Brad Owens
4859
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Brad Owens 03/24/09 - 05:17 am
0
0
Good for her. Its nice to see

Good for her. Its nice to see some good news coming out of there to help show the other side of Harrisburg. I'll buy a jar of that honey when its available. See, here is a lady that is working to make her community better from her own knowledge and experience. Thayt is the type of neighbor I want living next to me...well maybe not with too many bees (Just kidding). This is how places with problems get them solved. Not with section 8 housing and give aways, but with good neighbors who help each other and work to make it better and support from the Ga Dept of Agriculture (Thansk Tommy Irving!). The only REAL help they need down there is code and law enforcement. I am sure Butch will have some great quotes on this one. BRAVO!! I want soem honey for my wife's hot tea from these hives.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 03/24/09 - 05:31 am
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Only with an attitude like

Only with an attitude like Mrs. Traina's will Harrisburg improve. Some effort is always better than no effort. I hope she's contagious.

blues550
380
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blues550 03/24/09 - 06:58 am
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I've had their honey and it
Unpublished

I've had their honey and it is wonderful.

Harrisburg has a proactive group dedicated to improving the neighborhood, they need to be supported.

Little Lamb
47980
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Little Lamb 03/24/09 - 07:16 am
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Don't give Frank Carl a jar

Don't give Frank Carl a jar of that honey. He'll have it tested for mercury and claim the flowers were contaminated by Olin.

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 03/24/09 - 07:16 am
0
0
Having kept bees when I lived

Having kept bees when I lived in Atlanta, I can say that it is pretty much a fascinating hobby. Ole School, there are no permits required to keep bees. The GA Beekeepers Association has what they call a "short course" @ UGA in Athens each year. I strongly recommend you go there first. Most hives are made of pine, and painted. Mine were made of cypress, and varnished. The great thing about the short course, is that you actually get hands on exposure, including hiving a package of bees. The honey from around here is stronger tasting than "clover" honey you buy at the grocery store. Be warned, that you will eventually get stung, but you learn that even stings are a part of the hobby. Good luck Harrisburg !!

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 03/24/09 - 08:45 am
0
0
Great story...And a big rave

Great story...And a big rave to Denice Traina!.......................concidering that we are losing bees perhaps more should think of backyard hives..

sprintman
0
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sprintman 03/24/09 - 11:26 am
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Hillguy the side of

Hillguy the side of Harrisburg facing the Hill/Summerville is kept up and beautiful. The other side facing the medical district has some run down houses. But still no where near the exaggeration third world country.

MtnMan
1
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MtnMan 03/24/09 - 12:01 pm
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HILLGUY....You are a real

HILLGUY....You are a real snob!

MtnMan
1
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MtnMan 03/24/09 - 12:04 pm
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blues550...thank you for a

blues550...thank you for a nice supportative letter. i wish everyone who writes in the column had your attitude....

HillGuy
7
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HillGuy 03/24/09 - 01:29 pm
0
0
Why is the city of Disgusta

Why is the city of Disgusta sooo lax on code enforcement? It's amazing what they let these negligent property owners get away with. Some simple code enforcement would do wonders for Harrisburg and the rest of Augusta... that's one of the main reasons for living in a city... stricter code enforcement... its as though Augusta has no code enforcement whatsoever.

SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 03/24/09 - 03:15 pm
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0
HillGuy.... Not all of

HillGuy.... Not all of Harrisburg looks third world. Have you been reading the newspaper ? : http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/03/22/liv_515473.shtml

SargentMidTown
8
Points
SargentMidTown 03/24/09 - 03:25 pm
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brad.owens Tell your wife to

brad.owens Tell your wife to come by 520 Tuttle St and I will give her a jar of Harrisburg honey.

CalvinCool
0
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CalvinCool 03/24/09 - 10:06 pm
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0
Very cool in that someone who

Very cool in that someone who is not a Marlboro-addicted welfare-sucking parasite with a brood of 'who-dunit' kids lives in Harrisburg.
Kindly surprise me further by producing stories about other individuals in this area who actually contribute to the GDP rather than the usual parade of single mothers with a horde of spawn by various 'baby daddies" that we have become so accustomed to reading about.
I agree with the assessment that 'not all of Harrisburg looks third world"..The slums of Lagos at least proffer hope in the form of internet scams. Harrisburg lacks even that meager possibility.

Ole School
0
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Ole School 03/25/09 - 04:07 pm
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RIPJONES , I would like to e

RIPJONES , I would like to e mail you if possible , ( a few questions about bees let me know if you see this .....

Bulldog
1333
Points
Bulldog 03/26/09 - 03:20 pm
0
0
I can't imagine a better way

I can't imagine a better way to spend some free time. Keep it up! We need more like you.

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