We have already learned about how important bees are to our everyday lives and the food we put on our tables. We have learned about planting bee friendly plants in our yards or on our patios. We have learned about the bee-friendly ways to apply pesticides and about Colony Collapse Disorder. To wrap up our series of articles on Honey Bees, this article will explore hosting hives in the off season.
Honey bees are hard-working pollinators! But after pollinating our tree fruit and seed crops, in addition to many other crops, they still need a place to forage. This can be a big obstacle for large bee keepers in Washington State. Many beekeepers even have to transport their bees out of state to find a place to store their hives in the offseason. Some go to Montana or even South Dakota to find space for their bees. The travel is hard on the hives and it is not uncommon to lose a significant part of the hive population going to and from storage and forage areas.
|Click on the Image Below for an Interactive Map Identifying Local Beekeeping Organizations
Do you have land that may be suitable to host bees in the off season? Bees need water, ample space and plants to forage. Road access can be important too as larger bee keepers transport their hives with flatbed trucks and use fork lifts to place the hives. How can you find out if there are bee keepers in your area that need a home for part of a season? Try going to the Washington State Bee Keeper’s Association webpage at www.wasba.org/
. The map shown here is from the website. You can get listings of bee keepers and local bee associations by area.
Just like people, bees thrive in ideal conditions. Helping bees and
pollinators to stay healthy helps to keep our crops producing the fruits and vegetables we love to eat every day!
AgForestry Class 37 hopes you have enjoyed our series on honey bees and honey bee health. We hope that at the least you have learned valuable information about pollinators. We really hope that something has sparked your interest and you will play an active role in keeping our bees healthy, whether that is planting bee friendly plants, being careful when using pesticides, or choosing to open your property up to host some hives in the off season. Even small changes can have some delicious results!
Explore the Other Parts of the Bee Info Series Here:
The Bee Info Series was produced by the Washington Ag Forestry Class 37. Several of the members of this class authored the articles as part of a public policy project. If you want to learn more about the Ag Forestry program visit their website: http://agforestry.org/