Did you see the recent news piece that showed the destroyed beehives some nitwit(s) ruined for no reason? It made me angry. Honeybees mind their own business and don’t bother anyone while they go about improving our environment. They are mostly non-aggressive if you just leave them alone. Without them, the food supply would be in big trouble. So when someone goes out of their way to kill off something so important to all of us, it should make us upset.
Fifty or more years ago beekeeping was considered a gentleman’s hobby. Maybe your “unusual” aunt would have hives in the backyard and you always knew you would be getting a jar of honey for Christmas. And maybe some vitamins. Now, it’s big business. Beekeepers truck their hives all around the country and rent them out to farmers to maximize pollination of their crops. In the process, the bees get stressed and many of them die off. In addition, pesticides improperly applied and the Verroa mite have contributed to something called bee colony collapse. It’s a problem.
Since spring is just around the corner maybe you can help the bees out a little. Usually the first flowers that appear are weeds. This is the first real food source for bees before other planted crops begin to flower. If we could delay our flowering weed killing activities by a few weeks it would allow the bees to get a good start on strengthening their colony numbers. When we kill off the weeds early, we are destroying a food source for the pollinators. And the consequence is fewer bees. That’s not a good thing.
We talk about being pro-environment but there are very few things that we can individually accomplish that make a big difference. This is an easy one. Put up with the flowering weeds for a few weeks. Then you can go after them aggressively and kill them off. Your lawn will still look great this summer.
The bees will thank you for it.