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Have a honey of a day at open house in Clarkesville
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They are behind everything we eat, and help make the backbone of Georgia's farming economy.

And on Friday, anyone can take a peek into the world of the honeybee, at an open house on Friday hosted by beekeepers Carl and Virginia Webb.

The idea is to not only introduce the public to the world of the honeybees, but to also raise awareness of their vital part in farming, Virginia Webb said.

In Northeast Georgia especially, where agriculture is one of the top industries, she said it's important for people to understand the little workers that make our peaches, strawberries and pecans possible.

"The honeybee industry impacts $77 million in Georgia alone, both in pollination and selling bees and honey," Webb said. "There's a large queen breeding industry, and there's great honey in the area."

The Webbs have lined up two programs for Friday, one from 9 a.m.-noon that is invitation only, and one from 1-4 p.m. that is open to the public. There will also be experts available to answer questions about starting a hive, commodities that are pollinated by bees and a demonstration on how honey is extracted. The Habersham County Farm Bureau Women's Committee will also have a honey tasting of various varieties from around the state.

Webb said currently bee keeping is not counted among the state's farm gate value, which is an evaluation of farm services done by the University of Georgia's Cooperative Extension. And she wants to change that, since bees are an essential part of the peach, pecan and Vidalia onion crops grown in the state.

"The best, most reliable food you can eat is food grown right here on our own soil," Webb said. "We cannot be a free nation if our food is grown by someone else. Having a healthy beekeeping industry is the beginning of a healthy agricultural market."

Because bees, she said, "are truly the angels of agriculture."

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