This editing exercise involves reformulating a story written for print to one for the web. Below on the left is the narrative version of the story. On the right is the form that a web site for which you work uses to introduce the story. We can assume that the full narrative will be somewhere on the site, possibly below it, but as the editor, you need to fill in the parts indicated that will go above it. Do not rewrite the story. Use the information in the story to fill in as much information as you can. You will have to go online to find the links to include.
(your name; put your name in the form at the end of the exercise, too.)
Maximum 60 charactersSummary
Maximum 50 wordsMajor points
At least four bullet points; one complete sentence for each.
Best direct quote
Use this form: Source, attribution.
Best links to other information
(at least three; use the form below)
Web site name, URL, description
Local farmer keeps things buzzing
By Rick Randell
Chances are, Kelso Gillenwater’s bees have seen more of the country than you have.
Well, they haven’t actually seen the country, but they have probably been through more places than most Blount Countians.
Gillenwater is a local farmer and beekeeper whose family has been keeping bees for four generations.
“My great-grand-daddy had some hives that made the sweetest honey you could imagine,” he said one day last week as he stepped off a forklift. He had just finished loading more than 1,100 hives onto a tractor-trailer truck for their annual trip to sunny California.
Gillenwater still takes honey off his hives, but his main business is no longer extracting honey. Instead, he rents a large portion of his 1,200 hives to almond growers in California, and every year about this time he goes through the same routine. Gillenwater has beehives scattered through Blount, Loudon and Roane counties. He goes around and gathers them up and puts them on a truck for a week-long journey to the almond groves of California.
Gillenwater has been doing this for about nine years.
“My great-grand-daddy never could have imagined this – shipping all these bees to California,” he said. “He never even went to California himself.”
Gillenwater said he makes more money renting his bees out to almond growers than he does extracting the honey.
“Almond growers depend 100 percent on honeybees for pollination,” he said. “If they didn’t have bees, we wouldn’t have almonds.”
The price for renting a hive for about six weeks is $150 per hive.
“There is a shortage of bees in California for this purpose, and they are glad to see my bees coming down the road,” he said.
Gillenwater said his biggest problem is not getting the bees back and forth to California but keeping them alive while they are in East Tennessee. Bees are susceptible to a number of diseases and predators, and they can be hurt by many environmental factors such as insecticides. Gillenwater said he normally loses about 10 to 20 percent of his hives each year.
“That’s pretty standard for most beekeepers in this area,” he said. “The beekeeper who can keep all his hives alive from one year to the next is a pretty luck fellow.
And then there’s the honey.
Gillenwater extracts honey from about 100 of his hives, and he can get anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds of honey off a hive. With honey selling at nearly $1.50 a pound, the money he takes in from is pretty significant.
“It ain’t free money,” he says. He’s right. The extraction process is back-breaking and tedious, but Gillenwater calls it “fun.”
“There’s always a demand for local honey,” he said. “We can sell just about ever bit we pull off the hives.”
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