Honey Bees On Roof Provide Pollination

The years 1996, thru 1999 were years of almost zero yield from our apples. The cherry yield was very low and the apricots were nonexistent. The reasons were varied some said Biannual cycling another was early blooms (very warm February) plus a heavy frost late in the spring (almost Mothers Day) but the one thing that seemed to prevail was the lack of pollination of the blossoms. Previous years seemed to be OK but now it seemed like there were no bees to pollinate the trees so, we decided we need to get our own bee hives and to maintain them on our property near the orchard. Now, contrary to what Ceil says, I am not one to jump into a new project without finding help. The public library and the local Extension service was quite helpful and I found a local beekeeper who was willing to place and provide his skill to maintain the hives for half the honey yield. I would furnish the location and pay for the bees and the license for the Apiary (Bee Yard) registration with the State. We maintained the Apiary till 2005 when the bees went rogue killed several queens, and attacked the lawn mowers.

Beekeeper inspecting Hive
Now, whoever made the statement that the dog is mans best friend did not come from a farm nor did they considered the role of the honey bee in our food chain. While researching this subject, I found some very interesting statistics at airoot.com/beeculture.

The world of Beekeeping is a totally new experience for me and it may help you look a bit deeper too. Bees are under attack and our harvesting system is in peril.

First, honey bees are not normally aggressive. They will not sting unless they feel threatened (like being swatted or squeezed in you clothing). If they must sting, it is certain death for the honey bee and, (unless your allergic), a few hours of discomfort for you.

Also, be aware that Yellow jackets are not bees; they are scavengers imported from China in packing material. They do not benefit man other than to cleanup his mess.

Bee Keeper (Andrew ) inspecting the hives for mites and other problems.
Yellow jackets live in the earth, usually near their food supply and do not store food nor do they pollinate our crops other than accidentally. It is my understanding that they lay eggs in the ground which hatch every year because the adults do not winter over just like wasps and bumblebees. So, you see, honey bees are unique and we owe them a lot. Honey is considered the perfect food. It has been found in Egyptian tombs and is still edible.

It is unfortunate that man has caused such devastation of his own environment that he is now required to be custodian of it to survive. And even then he keeps botching it up. Less than 10% of the honeybee population live in the wild. Man continues to introduce devastation to the world of nature through insecticides, (see disappearing hives) bioengineering of crops, and allowing migration of foreign species (see African Hive Beetle) that create havoc in the new (unprotected) area. The kudzu vine of the Tennessee area was packing material just like the vines in the swamps of Louisiana.

Miticide "Medicine" for the Bees
Miticide strips being placed between slats to kill Trachea (Varroa) Mites on bees.

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Created by: JR Davis
Copyright 1996 - 2008, Joseph R. Davis