Friday, February 22, 2013

LET BROOD REARING BEGIN!

Pollen covered beauty!

Pollen for honey bees is the staff of life. It signals the beginning of brood rearing. Brood is the tech talk for laying eggs and the feeding of the growing pupae in the hive. It is a very exciting time for those of us that love the bees.
If you look around your yard you may not recognize those plants that are in bloom and giving this precious material to the honeybee. Trees as well as flowers provide pollen and it comes in many beautiful colors! Look out at the Maple, those beautiful red buds are full of pollen. Below is a list from Wiki
Pollen is part of the cycle of life that intertwines us all. The beginning of regeneration in the Spring gives the bees their source of life. We must then care for these plants as well as the bees. They can not be considered separately! Lawn care is big business in this country. Consider the methods that the average American uses for lawn care. Even garden clubs find it acceptable practice to use pesticides to maintain their flowerbeds and yards. This is not conducive to the survival of the honeybee or any of our wondrous pollinators. If you eat honey, pollen, propolis or any of the products of the hive you may be ingesting residues of those pesticides. This is not due to the beekeepers but the American love affair with "better living through chemistry". What you do in your yard MATTERS!
We do not use chemicals in our hives. We believe this harms rather than helps the girls in the long run. It is a choice not all beekeepers make. It is one that we make on a number of levels.
  •  Our first priority is our family, I would not want to feed honey to my children if I used chemicals in the hive.
  • Honeybees would not do this in nature
  • It can be harmful just in their application to the beekeeper
  • Studies have shown Pests adapt, get worse not less
So as we go into Spring and the Garden Bug makes you itch to get outside consider the Honeybee. Avoid the  Round-up this year, leave the plastic mulch off, start a compost, leave the Deet on the shelf( try a bubble machine) and in general think, "What would this do to a honeybee, it's food source and WHY do I NEED it?

Trees and shrubs - Spring

Common name Latin name Blooming months Pollen color Availability Source for honeybees
Maple Acer spp. Feb - Apr light yellow feral fair
Manitoba Maple (Box elder) Acer negundo Feb - Apr light olive feral good
Norway maple Acer platanoides Apr - May yellow green, olive feral fair
Red Maple Acer rubrum Mar - Apr grey brown feral
Grey Alder Alnus incana Feb - Apr brownish yellow feral
American Chestnut Castanea dentata May - Jun
mostly ornamental
Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa May
feral good
Common Hackberry Celtis occidentalis Apr - May
feral
Flowering Quince Chaenomeles japonica, Chaenomeles lagenaria, Chaenomeles speciosa 'Nivalis', Chaenomeles x superba Apr - May
feral good
American Hazel Corylus americana Mar - Apr light green feral and ornamental fair/good
Hawthorn Crataegus spp. Apr - May yellow brown feral fair

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