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Howell Living History Farm’s three colonies of honeybees will take a break from their busy schedules on Saturday, April 8, when Bob Hughes stops by for his annual spring visit.

Mr. Hughes, who is a professional beekeeper, will open the hives to give the bees a complete health check, medicate the colony and make sure that the queens, drones and worker bees are properly equipped for manufacturing honey. He will also inspect a hive that was damaged when a bear paid a visit to the bee yard last fall.

Visitors to the farm can watch the beekeeper at work from 1:30 to 2 p.m. at the hives; at 2:30 join him in the Visitor Center barn for an hour-long presentation, “Life of a Bee Colony.” Throughout the day, children can assemble beehives for housing a colony, try on a beekeeper’s suit, and learn about beekeepers’ tools and equipment. Parking and admission are free.

The recently restored Henry Phillips farmhouse will also be abuzz with spring activities. Inside and outside the house, visitors can watch and lend a hand with spring cleaning operations that employ the latest equipment found in the 1906 Sears & Roebuck Catalogue: a hand-pumped vacuum cleaner, a new and improved rug beater and an easy-to-use, hand-cranked washing machine.

Howell Farm is owned by the County of Mercer and operated by the Mercer County Park Commission. The GPS location is 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Township, NJ 08530. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information about the farm, call (609) 737-3299 or visit www.howellfarm.org or www.mercercountyparks.org.

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Photo Caption: Howell Living History Farm’s bees work to produce homemade honey in Mercer County.

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