Bee keeper Bob and his helper were out the other day trying to
take advantage of a non-rainy day.
The grass had gotten really high around the hives, so
he came out to do some maintenance. They don't like the sound
of weed eaters, so Bob and helper were in full regalia...
I stayed back a bit sans bee suit.
They're also taking some hygiene measures and using a synthetic
form of oxalic acid (naturally occurring in rhubarb leaves),
fumigating the hives for mites.
The oxalic acid doesn't harm the bees.
Mites have been the bane of the bee keepers existence and
have been responsible for huge mortality rates in bees.
Some honey farmers have been devastated and have lost 90% of their stock.
Bob was also explaining to me about the dangers of a cool, wet spring.
In particular, apple blossoms need a certain temperature to
produce nectar...a.k.a bee food.
No warmth = no nectar = no food = no bees.
No bees = no pollination = no food for us.
Remember, 30 % or more of the food we eat is from honeybees pollinating flowers.
Think about that.
Almost everything on your dinner plate is there because of a little bee.
And don't forget that gorgeous amber honey they provide us with...
So not only are we hoping for the weather to warm our skin and soil,
but also to keep our bee population up.
Seen here in happier days last summer...