Wyatt Bates is a real estate agent and his wife Pat is a retired attorney. Wyatt grew up in Scioto County and became friends with farmers through his father’s scrap yard and used auto parts business. His mom would sometimes trade parts for produce that she used for canning. Wyatt bought a small piece of property about 17 years ago out of a desire to preserve the land. While cleaning up the property, he decided to become a beekeeper like his grandfather and great uncle.”The reason I started keeping bees what that I was concerned because I had heard about the absence of pollinators and that the natural bee population had declined severely,” he said. “I’m interested in how science works in our lives and wanted to help out.”He keeps bees not only to produce some honey for family and friends, pollinate flowers and crops but to educate the public about the importance of honey bees. For 15 years he has done school presentations and participated in the county’s Ag Adventure Days, which draws 600 students every year.”This is a great opportunity to interact with 600 future consumers. They may not be decision makers now but they will be someday. To connect with future decision makers and influence them at some level is important,” he said.Wyatt used to keep up to 20 hives but has just a few today. He said each hive, which typically contains 50,000 to 100,000 bees, has its own personality.”Some hives are easy and some are hard to get along with,” he said. “One year I pulled in and the local beekeeper inspector came running from the side of the house and said ‘That’s one mean hive you’ve got there.’ It’s important to know your hives’ personalities. People ask me ‘Do you get stung?’ Yeah, I do. They ask if I’m scared of them. I tell them ‘don’t rob the honey unless you’ve got your shoes on and are prepared’.”Wyatt likes hiking, backpacking and riding his Harley Davidson.”If you ride a motorcycle, you really connect with the land. You really get to see and smell everything on those country roads,” he said.Wyatt first heard about the Scioto County Farm Bureau through a realtor who said he should join since he was a landowner. He thinks everybody should be a Farm Bureau member and his reasoning is simple.”Agriculture affects every living human on earth because everybody eats,” he said. “It’s important to get the message out that the United States has the most affordable, safest and abundant supply of food and nutrients.”As for his favorite food, Wyatt said he loves Italian and Polish ethnic foods.
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