Half of the local bee population died this past winter when temperatures dropped. But May was the second warmest on record, helping one of North Georgia's bee keepers get back on track. 

Buzzy Bees Apiaries started with only two hives this spring. Now, they're up to seven.

Martin Kotar, who owns Buzzy Bees, says the warmer than normal temperatures in May helped boost business. He's hoping for a hotter than normal summer.

"Biggest thing is just having enough bees, getting your hives really strong, to carry yourself through the winter time," says Martin Kotar.

The bee keeper has approximately seven towers. Each tower contains one queen. Martin says the hive selects the queen. Worker bees bring her what's called "royal jelly." It contains more protein which makes her longer and larger than the rest.

Martin says you can help with that process in your own yard by planting perennials and herbs. 

"Speedwell is a good one, and bee balm, and you can also plant herbs, like pineapple sage is good," adds Kotar.

He suggests avoiding toxic chemicals on your lawn too. Martin says if you must, use a liquid form and stay away from powder. 

"I think the granular and powders, the bees could pick that up and bring it into the hive," says Kotar.

Last year, Buzzy Bees produced 200 pounds of honey.

This year, Kotar hopes for at least half. Martin attributes that to the cold winter. Half his bees did not survive.

The bee keeper already has 40 pounds and is expecting an additional 60 pounds by the end of summer. 

Honey will be available July 1.

Buzzy Bees Apiaries operates out of Ringgold at 13 McKinley Lane. You can call Buzzy Bees at 1-423-618-1680.

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