Honey production begins in the spring time, but the winter months are still an important time for a hive.

Martin Tarot, is a Bee Keeper of Muzzy Bees Apiaries operating in his backyard in Ringgold. He uses smoke, as a way of identifying himself to the hives.

It's during the winter months, bees are using their energy to keep the hive and the queen honey bee alive.

Tarot says, "They'll cluster in a tight ball, and they'll move their wings and use up all their energy, just to keep the hive up to 94-95 degrees."

The hive will stay together nearly all winter, coming out to only look for sugar on milder winter days. When it's really cold, they won't come out of the cluster to eat, and many times during colder winters more hives die. Many times the hives would rather stay in a cluster and stay warm and starve.

Tarot adds, "Make sure you do have enough honey for food, if not make some sugar bricks, or some pollen patties, that will help get them through the winter."

On a mild winter day the bees will come up, and lucky for us the sun was shining when Channel 3 came to visit.

In February the first eggs will be laid by the queens. Last year Tarot had four of his eight hives survive, which produced 18 gallons of honey. This year, there are two hives.

The first batch of honey is expected to be available around the first week of June. Martin Tarot tells us the neighbors seem pretty happy he's added more pollinators to the neighborhood over the past four years.

Martin Tarot can be contacted for honey by calling 423-618-1680 or clicking here to send an email. 

If you or someone you know is interested in bee keeping contact The Tennessee Valley Bee Keepers Association. Their next meeting will be held on February 26, at the Red Presbyterian church at 7PM.

Have a weather related story idea? Feel free to email Meteorologist Brittany Eggs.