Why keep honey bees on an organic farm like Paul’s Organic Farm?
The farm benefits, you benefit and the environment benefits!
We recently suited up with Jesse, our beekeeper, to check on the progress of his beekeeping.
The number of hives and bees has increased dramatically since Jesse came on board earlier in the summer. We began with one hive and now have four thriving, buzzing hives.
And that’s great news.
Bees fulfill the critical need to pollinate flowers and fruit trees. The pollen needs a transportation vehicle–and bees are the perfect carriage. Pollination allows fruit trees and flowers to reproduce, so this process–and the bees that ensure pollination takes place–are vital to our ecosystem.
While the bee population may be thriving on our farm, bees are in trouble across the world. They’re suffering from what’s called Colony Collapse Disorder, which happens when most of the worker bees in a colony disappear or die.
That’s not good news–and Jesse attributes the problem to the use of pesticides and herbicides.
“Bees pick up the pesticides and herbicides and bring them back to the hive,” he explains. The bees are killed by the chemicals.
But at our farm, we use no pesticides and herbicides and our hives are thriving.
While visiting with Jesse, we also had the opportunity to see a queen bee up close. Queen bees are critical to the health of hives. They can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day. Earlier this summer, Jesse bought a few queen bees and put them in our hives to help boost the bee population
You may wonder whether we were scared going near the hives dressed in bee suits. We weren’t!
After we suited up, we came close to the hives and noticed that many bees flew in and out from openings in the bottoms of the hives. But they didn’t bother us; they were busy doing their work while Jesse played classical music in the background. He believes the music calms the bees.
Even when we opened up the hives and bees flew out, they didn’t sting us. They didn’t sting Jesse’s hands, even though he wasn’t wearing gloves. (We kept out gloves on, just to be safe.)
We left the hives feeling grateful for all that bees do for plants–and animals!