Beekeeping is a popular hobby in Southwest Florida.
Lee County has 173 registered beekeepers and 142 are registered as backyard beekeepers. Collier County has 36 registered beekeepers and 28 of those are backyard beekeepers, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture.
Local beekeeper, Claudia Silveira, is a backyard beekeeper and sells her honey at local farmers markets on the weekend. Claudia is the owner and sole employee of her company, Lee Queen Bee . Claudia studied beekeeping at the University of Florida and is a certified master beekeeper.
“Being a beekeeper takes a lot of patience,” said Claudia. It can take between three to four months for bees to produce enough honey to harvest. Timing and planning are a big part of the beekeeping process.
Claudia is a backyard beekeeper and has a honey room in her home, where she retrieves the honey from the honeycomb and packages it.
You can find Lee Queen Bee products at weekend farmers markets including the Alliance of the Arts Saturday farmers market.