Hi neighbors. My name is Jack Jetton and I’m a beekeeper here on Oakridge Ranch. I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss bees and their challenges. First here are a few interesting factoids about the honey bee.
- The honey bee is not native to the USA. They were originally imported from Europe.
- 60% of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we eat depend on pollinators like the honey bee to produce.
- Honey bees will fly up to 3 miles from their hive in search of pollen and nectar.
- Honey bees never sleep.
- The typical life-span of a worker bee is 30-45 days in the spring/summer
- There are 3 types of bees in a hive: Queen, Workers, and Drones (males).
- All worker bees are female.
- A healthy hive will have 40,000 to 60,000 bees.
- And many, many more.
The honey bee faces many challenges in its survival such as pests (Varroa mites, small hive beetles, wax moths etc.), disease, and chemicals (insecticides and herbicides). The last is one where you can help. As we prepare our places for spring consider allowing the wildflowers (weeds) to grow and produce their flowers. They love yaupon, dewberry, beauty berry, thistle and horse mint flowers. Before you spray an insecticide, please consider the potential impact on our pollinators. Even if the bee is not directly contacted by the poison, the nectar and pollen they take back to the hives can build up the levels of toxins to the point the entire hive will perish.
As we get further into spring/summer you may see swarms. This is a normal occurrence and the way the hives expand. When honey bees are swarming they are simply looking for a new place to call home and are normally pretty docile. If you find a swarm please give me a call (281-910-1432) and I’ll try to see they are safely removed for you.
Thanks for considering the bees as you work around your properties. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.