ASK FLORA – Beekeeping
by Sage and Snow Garden Club
February 8, 2015
Backyard beekeeping is a growing trend. Honeybees are a critical link in U.S. agriculture and have been under serious pressure from a mystery problem: Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD was discovered in 2006, but bees have also been under attack from a host of new pathogens since the 1980s. Over the last half-decade, 30% of the national bee population has disappeared and nearly a third of all bee colonies in the U.S. have perished. No other single animal species plays a more significant role in producing the fruits, vegetables and nuts that we take for granted.
Why should I have bees?
Signed: Honey Wilson
There are many reasons to raise bees.
1) It helps agriculture in your area because numbers of bees have declined significantly in the last few years. You can supplement the existing population with yours. The bees will seek out nearby plants for their food and will pollinate those plants in the process.
2) Bees give you honey. Honey is a nutritional, natural food that can be used in cooking and to treat all sorts of ailments from wounds and coughs to high cholesterol and acne.
3) Because you want to! If you enjoy cultivating and nurturing livestock, vegetables or flowers, then you will likely enjoy working with bees. As with anything you raise, you will need to know its needs and behaviors. You will enjoy many hours talking with other beekeepers and getting to know the world of beekeeping.
Where should I put my hives?
Signed: Jay North
A spot with afternoon shade because you do not want them to stop collecting nectar midday to return to the hive to cool it down. Also in winter, you do not want south or east sun to hit the hive, as this will fool the bees into thinking the outside temperature is as warm as their hive and they will fly out and die.
Are bees dangerous?
Signed: Bridgett Pain
No and yes. Bees like other livestock, protect their own and their colony. If you mind your own business, they will mind theirs. However if you bother them, they will defend and then attack.
How much honey will one hive make?
Signed: Cicely Sweet
That is a great question, but very hard for me to answer. Every year will be different from the last and the next. I was very lucky and got about 30 pounds of honey last year here in Sublette County, WY.
How can I get involved with other gardeners in the region to share ideas and learn?
Signed: Gnu Gardener
Sage and Snow Garden Club meetings are typically held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Sublette County Weed & Pest Office at 12 South Bench Road, Pinedale. The educational topic for February 17th is "Making Wine." LOCATION CHANGE: This meeting will be held in the Lovatt Room at the Sublette County Library in Pinedale. To find out more about the Garden Club & read all Ask Flora articles, visit our website at www.sageandsnow.org.