While most people think of all types of bees as pests, the fact is honey bees have a lot to offer the backyard gardener. Honey bees are efficient pollinators. They would help even a small backyard or urban garden.
It has been estimated that bees have helped produce 2 of every 3 bites we eat. Large farming concerns use bees to pollinate their crops. Bees are shipped all around the country in order to help farmers grow plentiful and healthy crops.
However, you don’t have to have a commercial farming concern in order to take advantage of bees in your garden. Perhaps before the advent of Colony Collapse Disorder you didn’t have to think about bees and your garden. Bees may have been so plentiful there was no need for concern.
Now unless there is a healthy bee colony in your area, you may have noticed a decrease in the number of bees. A healthy honey bee colony, should be active from the very start of spring. Not only have their numbers diminished, you may notice them showing up later and later in the summer season.
You Can Help Both the Bees and Your Garden
You can decide to become a beekeeper. And your garden will grow bigger and better. Not only will your yields increase of flowers, fruits and vegetables, but also your produce will be bigger. And don’t forget honey as a wonderful side benefit for work.
Once you get up and going beekeeping doesn’t take that much time each season. Once you become experienced you will only spend about 40 hours a season per colony caring for your bees.
Most Honeybees in Europe and the United States are Gentle
One of the discouraging beliefs about honey bees (apis mellifera) is they are aggressive. First of all many people think wasps and hornets are bees. Bees don’t attack you on picnics, hornets and wasps do.
Of course, every rule has an exception. The africanized honey bee, descended from stock introduced into Brazil in the 1950s is extremely aggressive and dangerous. They reached Texas in late 1990.
However, the honeybees you would be cultivating are gentle. While they do have stingers, and of course will protect their hive, it is unlikely they will launch an attack, preferring in most cases to bump up against you. And there are ways of minimizing the risks of getting stung, such as smoking and wearing the proper apparel.
Building a Beehive: It Can Be Done Even By A Novice
The first decision you have to make is where to house your bees. You can of course buy a beehive. But with $50-$75 for materials you can get one up in a few hours. Because you have built your beehive from scratch you will have more control over the entire process.
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