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Weekly Alibi
 Sep 23 - 29, 2010 
Honey bears

The Russians Are Coming

By Mina Yamashita

Ken Hays is wild about bees. He began beekeeping as a hobby in 1968. He would continue working as an air traffic controller until 1988, when the bees claimed him full time. With fellow beekeepers Joe Wesbrook and Andy Duran, Hays covers New Mexico with more than 150 hives and gathers a thousand pounds of honey every week. They collect spicy tamarisk (salt cedar) honey from Socorro, mesquite from T or C, sweet clover from “up north,” desert candle from southern New Mexico, and varieties including early and late summer, floral and more. With permission from farmers, the Bureau of Land Management and the forest service, he places hives on land where the pollination often benefits the local agriculture and flora. The honeys range in color from pale gold to deep amber, and their flavors reflect the bees’ foraging areas.

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