Sunday, February 10, 2013
LESSON 132: Start Keeping Bees To Help With Pollinating Our Fruits And Vegetables. www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678
Hello, we are David and Sheri Burns of Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We have a passion for helping more people become beekeepers. The more beekeepers, the more honey bees. And the more honey bees the better assurance we have for adequate pollination of our food. In today’s lesson we’ll learn the importance of honey bees for pollination. But first: What People Ask Most About Beekeeping How many hives should I start with? We recommend two. If one weakens you can share resources between hives. How far a part should my hives be from each other? Bees will know their own individual hive so it really doesn't matter, but we recommend a minimum of 2 feet. Can I save money by using old, used equipment? Used equipment can potentially harbor bacterial spores from diseases for up to 80 years. We strongly recommend starting with new, clean equipment. For our complete list of frequently asked questions, like "Which direction should my hive face?", "How much honey will my hive produce?", "Which feeder is best?", "Should I start with a top bar hive or a traditional Langstroth hive?" Read our full article... Before we begin our lesson, we want to encourage you to consider starting to keep bees or expanding your current apiary. Of course, we would love to have your business. We realize you have many places to purchase your hives or bees, but when you purchase from us, you keep us in business so that we can answer your questions and provide valuable weekly beekeeping lessons. We’ve all been to conferences where popular speakers are flown in and vendors travel and sell us things. But a week later, when the speakers and vendors all fly home, who’s going to help answer your beekeeping questions? Here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms when you call in, a beekeeper answers the phone to help you with your questions. We value your business. We won’t brush you off or just want to sell you something you don’t really need. Be sure to look through our complete online store for your beekeeping supplies. Some of you have a real interest in our business and family. So let me give you a quick photo rundown of who we are and what we do when we aren’t running the business. Then we’ll get into today’s lesson. So as you can see we are a pretty average American family, working hard to make a living and still finding time to keep the faith, spend time with family and overall enjoy each day.
Here’s a few things you can do to support our business. 1. Consider sharing our website www.honeybeesonline.com with some friends or relatives who may be interested in beekeeping. Have them check out our website or give us a call 217-427-2678. 2. Give us a chance to meet your beekeeping needs. We are very ‘proud of the hives that we make. We realize you can go with a large beekeeping company, but we think you’ll enjoy working with our family business. We’d love for you to call in and get to know our daughters Karee and Jennifer, my wife Sheri, or me. Occasionally when all phone lines are ringing you’ll have the privilege of speaking with Karee’s husband Jesse. I’m not sure how we ever ran the business before Jesse joined us. Jesse is alot of fun.
Your online orders or phone in orders energize us. We love hearing your stories as to why you want to keep bees. We are here to help you do it right. Thank you for your business.
I’ll be the keynote speaker this year at the Arkansas Beekeepers Association in Little Rock, March 1-2, 2013. Plan to join us at the UA Cooperative Extension Service auditorium at 2301 S. University Avenue in Little Rock. I’ve got 5 sessions I’m speaking on so it will be worth your time. Visit their website for more information: http://arbeekeepers.org/events.html
LESSON 132: Start Keeping Bees To Help With The Pollination Of Fruits And Vegetables
Proverbs 24:13 says, “Eat honey, my son, for it is good”. Where would we be without our honey bees? Honey bees pollinate foods that are so good for us. Honey bee pollination is essential for many important foods such as: Avocadoes, Mangoes, Kiwifruit, Watermelons, Squash, Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Apples, Blackberry, Raspberry, Plums, Peaches, Pears, Cherries, Almonds, Blueberries, and many others.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”. We are rapidly learning of the medicinal value of honey. In addition to honey being good for us, honey bees pollinate most of our fruits and vegetables which leads to a healthy lifestyle. Our food choices without honey bees would be bland, boring and unhealthy. Even if you enjoy a greasy diner, you may not be able to order a cheeseburger because bees pollinate plants that cattle feed on. Without cattle we would have no cheese and no beef. Bees even pollinate coffee trees. Some coffee does not need bees such as Arabica coffee because it is a tetraploid, with 44 chromosomes, and is self-pollinating. Yet, bees do like pollinating coffee trees and honey bees increase coffee bean yields. So you can’t even have a cup of coffee without being thankful for bees.
The reason honey bees have such a valuable impact on pollination is because many crops are monocrops, such as almonds and there are not enough native pollinators to pollinate the thousands of acres of almond trees that need pollinated over a short time period. Native pollinators will fail to adequately pollinate a large crops. Honey bees, however, can be brought in and set in almond groves and apple orchards and fulfill the demand for pollination.
Some say that Albert Einstein said: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” He did not actually say that. However, it is certainly true that the quality of life as we know it would certainly disappear without the pollination given by our honey bees. Honey bee pollination has an agricultural value of 15 billion dollars in the US.
What is seldom mentioned is that food that is good for us is growing in demand. And these foods require pollination. The concern is whether or not our pollinators can keep up with the demand. This is why Sheri and I have made a commitment to help people to become beekeepers. The more beekeepers, the more bees, the more bees the more pollinators and the more fruit and vegetables we can enjoy.
Let me share a quick lesson about how honey bee pollination works. Apple trees, for example, must have honey bees. The fruity part of the apple is formed around the seeds in the center of the apple. Pollen grains transferred and carried by the honey bees help form the seeds and then the fruit forms around the seeds. Bees are attracted to the apple tree flower for nectar. But while they are gathering nectar, they are also gathering and transferring pollen. The apple tree’s male reproductive cells in the form of pollen are transferred to the female reproductive part of a flower known as the stigma. Most apples trees have to be cross pollinated.
An effective method of the pollination of apple trees is to provide adequate cross pollination of atleast two different varieties of the same type of tree. In apple orchards crabapples are often used. If pollination of an apple tree is poor, it will produce less apples to maturity, misshaped or smaller apples, or apples will drop prior to harvest.
Did you know that California requires one half of all hives in the US to be shipped out to pollinate their Almonds for a yearly $2.3 billion dollar crop? By the way, almonds are said to be good for us.
When we had our beginner’s class yesterday (Saturday in our new education center) several people mentioned to us that they simply want to start keeping bees to increase pollination in their area. One gentleman said he didn’t care if he got any honey or not, he just thinks we need more bees. That’s a great attitude.
Do you realize the pollination potential that one hive on your property would have in your area? From your colony foragers would fly up to 3 miles to gather nectar and pollinate. That means a 3 mile radius around your house or alittle over 12,000 acres. Wow, your colony would have a huge pollination impact in your area. We just don’t see bees like we use to. When I was growing up back in the 60s in Memphis our back yard was full of bees on clover, even in the city. You can’t hardly find a bee out there any more. It is sad. But the good news is we have the power to do something about it. Maybe you’ve always wanted to keep bees and finally, you’re going to do it. Good for you.
We still have a hand full of openings in our March 9th and 23rd beginners classes. CLICK HERE for more information on our upcoming classes.
Before we leave you let me invite you to look at our special hive kits that are available. Some are with bees included and some are without bees. Some of our kits do not include bees because people choose to find bee more locally. To see our full catalog of hives, CLICK HERE or go to: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/kitswo.html
Here’s the set up I would recommend and I’ll tell you why. For a limited time we are offering our Freedom Kit with bees included. This was extremely popular last season. It comes with two hives, all the equipment like hat/veil/smoker/hive tool/book/smoker fuel/gloves/queen excluder etc. The reason two hives are better than one is if one hive becomes weak, you can share resources between hives. CLICK HERE to see more information on our Freedom Beekeeping Kit.
Thanks for joining us today, and please feel free to read through all our lessons online or give us a call and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have. 217-427-2678
Visit us online at: www.honeybeesonline.com
Posted by David Burns at 11:54 PM