Sweet Success: After Long Road Trip, Drange Apiary's Bees Are Getting to Work Making Honey

Bee Health June 01, 2012|Print

Released June 1, 2012

BILLINGS, Mont. — Andy Drange isn't bragging, he's simply stating a fact. On a head-per-head basis, he oversees more livestock than any other agricultural producer in Yellowstone County.

Here's another way to put it: Drange Apiary of Laurel owns about 3,000 beehives, each home to somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 bees. Depending on the season, Drange's "herd" numbers somewhere between 180 million and 200 million.

What's more, each year Drange's bees cover more territory than the far-ranging Texas longhorns that loped the Chisolm Trail from Texas ranches to railheads in Kansas. As 2012 dawned, Drange's bees were resting in a potato cellar in Caldwell, Idaho. The cellar remains at a constant temperature of 41 to 43 degrees.

"The bees just kind of sit there and vegetate," Drange said. "You don't have to feed them as much, and you don't have to keep them warm."

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/business/features/article_810fc1f9-3476-5a2d-...