Honey bees benefit from local, international business partnership

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Scientists say honey bees are in decline, but a beekeeper in Tarpon Springs is growing his business with the help of some leftovers from a local company.

"Happy bees make happy honey," laughs Manoli Andropoulos.

He and his wife Michelle own Bayshore Bees, producing honey on the banks of the Anclote River.

Andropoulos takes delivery of barrels of leftover, natural flavoring from Monin, which makes bottled flavoring used in things like coffee and cocktails.

The company donates its excess flavoring to beekeepers like Andropoulos.

Monin is a French company, but its North American headquarters is in Clearwater, where they turn out more than 20 million bottles of flavoring a year.

Andropoulos says he uses the flavoring to feed his bees, especially in winter, when he says the bees make more bees and increase the populations of their hives.

"Monin has been a Godsend for us," says Andropoulos, who also wants everyone to know that honey bees aren't dangerous. "There are bees around us right now. They're not doing anything. They're just out there pollinating," he says.

Bees may be in decline elsewhere, but on the banks of the Anclote River, they're everywhere.