I wrote the following for the Boone County Recorder, printed Thursday, April 16, 2009.
Thank A Beekeeper
As the trees, shrubs, and flowers in our area awake from their winter slumber, take note of the emergence of another, less appreciated, but no less important, visitor to our gardens, the honeybee. Honeybees are emerging from a long, cold winter and are hungry for nectar and pollen. By now, you have no doubt heard of the plight of the honeybee in the United States and worldwide; disappearing bees, dying hives, and a laundry list of pest and diseases that threaten to wipe out honeybees everywhere. As scientists struggle to come up solutions, let alone reasons for the decline, one may ask, what can I do?
You can encourage honeybees to visit your garden by planting a small area for wildflowers and other plants that honeybees like to visit. Limit the use of pesticide applications, and by all means, if you see a swarm of honeybees this spring, call a local beekeeper, they will usually remove the honeybees for free! Finally, take the time to educate yourself, your children, and your neighbors on the benefits of having honeybees around, and, if you are interested, become a beekeeper yourself.
At the very least, thank a local beekeeper. After all, they are working (or their bees are) to put food on your table. The local fresh fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market, grocery store, and get from your own backyard garden are the direct result of pollination by honeybees.
If you are interested in becoming a beekeeper here in Northern Kentucky, please visit the Northern Kentucky Beekeepers Association website at http://nkybeekeeepersclub.blogspot.com/.
Darcy Pach is a member of the Northern Kentucky Beekeepers Association, the host of “The Beekeeping Podcast”, and a local beekeeper in Burlington, KY.