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Watson: Hobby has a few stings

Almost everyone in Andalusia knows Ted Watson.

Some know him as the superintendent of Andalusia City Schools; others as their former principal; and still others as “Coach Watson” from his years on the gridiron.

But few people know him as a beekeeper. Watson said he’s been surrounded by honeybees since he was a child. His dad has honeybees, so he’s always been interested in the hobby. He began beekeeping about a year ago.

“I always told myself that if I ever had the opportunity to do it, I would,” Watson said.

Beekeeping is an all year round hobby that takes a lot of effort and time.

“You have to know a lot of information like habits of the queen, how to keep the swarm warm, and learning how to manage the hive,” Watson said.

There is a group of beekeepers in Andalusia that Watson has been able to get advice from. Tommy Wright and Patrick McCalman are part of this group.

“They have been really helpful ever since I started, since I have only been doing this for about a year they have been able to give me advice about maintaining my hive,” Watson said.

When asked about what the biggest challenge of beekeeping is, Watson said, “Man, getting stung is the worst. There was a night where it was raining and I went out to check the hive and I got stung 25 times straight through the suit.”

Watson said that beekeeping is not a hobby for people who want to save money by harvesting their own honey.

“Since I haven’t been doing it very long, I didn’t get enough honey to sell, but I did get about two gallons that I used for myself,” Watson said.

Though it is a very tough hobby, Watson said that he enjoys doing it and hopefully will keep bees for many more years.