Lancer Spotlight 9/28/21: Walkersville beekeeper Jennifer Pralgo talks bees with Lancer Media


Makyla DeVries

Beekeeper Jennifer Pralgo demonstrates some aspects of beekeeping.

by Makyla DeVries and Emma Henry

Jennifer Pralgo came to Patricia Beachy’s second period class intro to agriculture science. Pralgo also came to Natalie Rebetsky’s third period class Journalism. Pralgo came to the classes so she could give information and advice about having honey bees. 

When deciding to be a beekeeper, ”you have to take a 16 hour class,” said Pralgo. You need to take this class so you can buy any bees in Frederick county. 

Pralgo also wanted people to know that there are about 80,000 to 100,000 bees per hive, and about 98% of the hive is in fact female. In the winter time all the male bees are kicked out and there are only females left in the hive. 

Be mindful about bees swarming. When bees swarm it’s because of the lack of space in the hive. When the bees decide to swarm they make a new queen and they leave, taking half the hive and set to find another location to live. The survival rate for honey bees in the wild is about 10%. 

Pralgo wanted people to know that it’s important to not wear any dark colors. When wearing dark colors that makes the bees think you are in fact a bear. Since honey bees are threatened by bears they will become aggressive since they are trying to help their queen bee be safe. 

A recommended piece of equipment would be a smoker. Smokers are important when you are beekeeping since it helps the bees move a lot slower. A smoker stimulates the bees to be in a forest fire, and since the bees think that there is a forest fire they move slower and a lot calmer than normal. So this makes it easier for Pralgo to get the honey or just if she wants to look at the hive, and make sure that the hive is healthy.

Some information that Pralgo wanted people to receive is that honey never actually goes bad. A good harvest for her would be about 100 pounds that year. Some more information would be that a simple step that Pralgo thinks will help the bees is to simply plant flowers, and when planting these flowers make sure some of them are native items, also using pesticides can kill bees and give them many illnesses which can wipe out a whole hive.    

This visit was very informational, and helped the idea of beekeeping become clearer.Beekeeping is a very time consuming hobby, and it takes a lot of effort to maintain a healthy hive. 

Not only does it take a lot of effort to maintain the hive but making sure the bees get enough food for the winter, and the bees can also get sickness so it’s very important that to pay close attention to the hive.