‘Caught the bug’: Aurelius beekeeper shares his love of hives and honeybees

In the woods behind a cornfield, Bucky Haines treads through burdock sprouting vibrant pink flowers to his beehives, carrying a smoker that looks like a cross between a tea kettle and an oil can. Wearing a bright white beekeeper suit with a zippered-on headpiece, he spritzes smoke around the hive to calm his busy workers.

“Don’t swat,” he told The Citizen photographer Kevin Rivoli. The bees will think you’re aggressive, Haines said, and will be more apt to sting.

As he pulls up a frame filled with honey and comb, the bees ascend in a cloud around their keeper, who laughs when he reveals that he’s allergic to honeybees. The 70-year-old resident of Aurelius and owner of Haines Apiary takes allergy pills to keep doing what he loves. He keeps an EpiPen nearby, too.

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