REIDSVILLE, N.C. — For four decades, families in Rockingham County have enjoyed sweet summer fruit from what is now Bee Sweet Orchards in Reidsville.

Several years ago, Paul Winkler purchased the orchards from the original owners.

He expanded the peach crop, added nectarines and adjusted the varieties of apples he grows.

Peach harvest usually begins on the first day of the summer. Winkler handpicks every peach and nectarine because the fruit is so delicate and can bruise easily.

By late July, the apples are ready, and Winkler invites families to come pick their own.

“We do have folks that come out, and they do get carried away because they’ve never been somewhere where there’s an abundance of fruit hanging on trees,” he said. “They’ve never been in an orchard, and of course they get excited, and everybody’s walking around eating an apple.”

A day in the orchard has been a tradition for so many families, eating peaches and picking apples. Winkler hopes to keep the tradition going for decades to come.

“A lot of the people are bringing in their children now that were children here years ago that picked, and now they are bringing their children in,” he said.

Bee Sweet Orchards in Reidsville is located at 2229 Pannel Road in Reidsville. They are open every day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Sundays. They expect to have peaches and apples through September.