Peg Godwin: Can we help with the bees?
There are not enough bees to pollinate the diverse mixture of fruits, nuts and vegetables we consume. The decline in numbers continues as pests and diseases affecting populations continues.
Bees visit flowers to collect pollen and nectar for food. Pollination occurs when pollen is transferred from flower to flower. Pollination makes possible the development of fruit and seeds. Both wild honey bees and those managed by beekeepers are valuable pollinators.
Many are concerned about the decline in numbers. One way to help the bees is to become a beekeeper to add local bees to the population.
The Neuse Regional Beekeepers are offering a six-week training class. The major components of beginning beekeeping will be taught. Hands-on experience with honey bees is a part of the class. The school will be held Thursday evenings beginning March 7 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Lenoir County Cooperative Extension office. The class will continue through Thursday, April 11 with the addition of a field day on April 13.
This introductory class is open to anyone interested in honey bees and /or beekeeping and is taught by experienced beekeepers. The cost of the course is $40 which includes a textbook, membership in the Neuse Regional Beekeepers and membership in the N.C. State Beekeepers Association. For more information, contact Peg Godwin at 252-527-2191.
How else can we help honeybees?
Call a beekeeper to remove a swarm instead of killing this natural method of colony reproduction
Be cautious of pesticides if you want to protect bees. Use careful timing with pesticide applications that fly during the day
Consider skipping the pesticides and accept that not all produce has to be completely unblemished
If you do not have a green thumb, consider buying pesticide-free foods at local markets.
Make your property more bee-friendly by growing plants that attract bees. Consider growing coreopsis, coneflower, bee balm, marigold, salvia, anise hyssop and joe-pye weed