No February Meeting!
Welcome to the Carroll County Beekeepers Association Web Site!
Our goal is to educate the community about the many benefits of keeping honeybees for our backyard gardens,
our farms, the environment as a whole and to support the efforts of beekeepers through meetings,
forums and education.
Please join us for a monthly meeting to learn more!
A Call To Action!
What's the "buzz" about bees these days anyway? It seems there's a lot of talk about bees in the news and they've been around for a long time. They sting and buzz and get into our picnic foods. They are generally quite annoying, right?
The honey bee has been around for a long time. In fact, the Pilgrims brought the first honey bees to America and by the mid 1800's, the movable-frame beehive was invented ushering in an exciting new hobby for many people. Honey bees are not to be confused with pesky picnic buzzers such as wasps and yellow jackets that are actually quite aggressive and can sting over and over again. Honey bees are generally docile insects that literally work themselves to death to benefit their hive, raising young, bringing in pollen and nectar, storing up honey and then dying while on the job, hence the phrase "busy as a bee."
Honey bees are responsible for pollinating approximately 30% of the fruits and vegetables we eat and rely on for healthy diets each year. Their complimentary pollination services reach beyond our food supply and even effect the clothing we wear and use within our homes; honey bees pollinate cotton plants. Many plants, such as almond, apple and peach trees, rely on honey bees to pollinate their fruits.
The fuss now is that honey bees are also dying in record numbers for reasons that are not completely understood and may be multifaceted. There is a lot of talk about pesticide use in our country and organic foods are no longer just hot, they are demanded. Some pesticides used to help manage bugs eating crops are systemic and when they get inside of the plants that the pesticides are attempting to protect from crop damage, the bees that forage on those very plants take the pesticides back to their hives and potentially kill off their colonies.
So what can be done? If this is interesting, read and learn more. There is a lot of information available on the web and at your local library. Consider taking a beekeeping class, if not to actually become a beekeeper, then to learn more about the vital role honey bees play in our world, a role mostly taken for granted until recent years. Buying local can be challenging, but also rewarding. Buying local honey and supporting a local beekeeper is a very sweet endeavor indeed. Honey is delicious, but local honey is amazing. Buying local, raw honey provides you with pollen, vitamins, minerals and amino acids that come from local plants. Processed honey that is filtered and heated removes the pollen and destroys the vitamins inherent in the honey. It's clear which is better suited for our consumption.
Look around your yard and in your parks. Do you see a lot of honey bees mixed in with the bumble bees, wasps, and yellow jackets? Can you readily tell the difference? You may be surprised to find that the honey bees are not as visible as their flying comrades. Consider planting honey bee friendly plants to support their efforts. Carefully evaluate how and what you spray on your plants. Educate children as to the benefits of the honey bee and how they differ from other flying insects. Think about what the grocery store offerings would entail without the pollination services of the amazing honey bee. Stop. Look around. How many do you see? What will you do to help?