ASK Danny Bates and he will tell you where the worst place to get stung by a bee is.

He is no stranger to bee stings. He has kept bees since he was in Year 6, when his parents bribed him with a bee hive to get him to stop sucking his thumb.

He now has about 500 hives spread out across 10 sites within 100km of Rockhampton, where he is based.

"I heard a fellow say one time, 'Beekeeping is simple. You've got to have the right bees at the right place at the right time, and everything's easy then'," he laughed.

"You try to get them on good quality pollen, but you take what you can get sometimes.

"I've gone to an area at times when it's absolutely full of blossoms, and the bees have done no good, and other times … it's been absolutely drought-stricken and the bees had honey all summer."

While it may be unpredictable at times, it's an industry Danny has loved ever since he first started in it back in the 1970s.

He left high school with 80 hives and used to extract honey underneath his house in Rockhampton, but in 1992 he bought a shed nearby, where he used to work with his friend Joe Hawley.

Joe was an accountant who kept bees as a hobby, and when he died Danny took over the shed with all the equipment in it for extracting the honey.

He is now a full-time beekeeper, and said in the past 12 months he had produced about 150 drums of honey - which equates to a staggering 30,000 litres.

All his honey is purchased by Capilano Honey for distribution, an Australian company that also buys his leftover beeswax to resell to cosmetic companies.

But his stocks have taken a slight hit since Cyclone Marcia came through back in February, with thousands of hectares of trees decimated and many more put under stress from the wild winds.

While he only lost 15 hives, he felt the impact of a loss of pollen.

Did you know?

Honey bees use dancing to communicate

Due to human dependence on bees to pollinate our plants and crops, it's believed that if bees died out so would humans

Only the female worker bees have the ability to sting

Each honey bee will make only about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime

In spring, worker bees will only live for about six weeks

"A week after the cyclone the bees were doing quite alright, but all of a sudden it dropped off after that," he said.

"Half have done okay since, and half haven't done much at all.

"It was looking like it was going to be a good winter for production, but it's (the cyclone) has knocked that around a bit; not as bad as I thought it might be.

"When spring comes it might liven up again. Winter's always a bit hard."

But that was nothing compared to the floods of 2013 when he had lost 150 hives.

Despite the setbacks, Danny said he loved the challenge and variety of the industry.

"You can be in it for years and years and there's always something new to learn, better ways of doing it and there's always something to surprise."

And for the record Danny has been stung just about everywhere, including his tongue and the roof of his mouth - but if you ask him, underneath the lip is the worst place to get a bee sting.

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