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Abuzz along with the bees LEOMINSTER There's a buzz growing about a new beekeeping program at the Boys Girls Club of Fitchburg Leominster this summer. Police Detective Pat Aubuchon pried open one of the beehives behind the club as hundreds of the honeybees swarmed him Thursday. He's gone skydiving and whitewater rafting, so when he had the chance to learn beekeeping from Mike Mintz and introduce it to children, he didn't hesitate. "I've always wanted to do it," Aubuchon said. "It's a hobby." Mintz is leading the program with Aubuchon and club Teen Center Director Jon Blodgett, who are both learning on the job. SENTINEL ENTERPRISE / BRETT CRAWFORD "The main lesson, for me, is to love nature," Mintz said. Juan Pedraza, 12, of Fitchburg was dressed in a white beekeeper suit, but didn't have gloves and wasn't looking like he trusted the bees or suit Thursday morning. His friend, Miguel Diaz, 13, appeared to be feeling invincible. "I don't like bees, but it's wonderful I can go close and not get stung," Miguel said. The larger of the two hives behind the club has about 12,000 bees that can fly miles in search of nectar with which to make honey, Aubuchon said. But the program gives sugar water to the bees, Blodgett said. Mintz is a hardware engineer for Cavium in Marlboro who took a course given by the Massachusetts Beekeepers Association at Acton Boxboro Regional High School after learning that without human handlers, the honeybee couldn't survive. SENTINEL ENTERPRISE / BRETT CRAWFORD "I was the one who talked (club Executive Director Donata Martin) into it," Mintz said. "I was like, 'This is cool man, we have to do this.' I brought in hives several times without bees in them to show them the parts and what they do." Then Mintz and his students added a queen bee and 3 pounds of bees to start the first hive. "You just dump them in and they start the hive," Blodgett said. The initial hives didn't work out, but by mid May the program had a couple of queen bees that were laying eggs and the hives began growing.