The Bees are Back
Sixty to seventy years ago, our property was an apricot orchard and sheep farm. Today, we are lucky to still have two of the old heirloom apricot trees in our front yard. These older trees are huge, and produce a lot of apricots. The apricots are smaller than the typical ones you see in the grocery store today, but they have a really sweet taste and area great for making apricot jam. Because these trees are such early bloomers, it is rare that we get many apricots due to our spring freezes, but we always enjoy them when we get a crop.
As I was walking under those old apricot trees enjoying the warm spring sunshine, there was a loud buzz from overhead. I glanced up to the blue sky and noticed that the west facing buds had just popped open and the bees were buzzing around taking advantage of the first nectar. These snowy-white blooms are the first sign that spring is really on the way, and It is always comforting hear that the the bees have come back to call our farm “home” again. A healthy colony of bees plays an important part of the delicate balance in organic farming, and they are critical to help pollinate the blossoms on the peach and apple trees and the cantaloupe, eggplant, cucumber, tomato plants and so much more in the field. According to the Nature Conservancy, “Honeybees are quite valuable as they contribute to the successes of agriculture and industry. In fact, the monetary value of honey bees as commercial pollinators in the United States is estimated at about $15 billion annually with them doing almost 80% of all crop pollination. Without them, farmers and consumers would be at a great loss.” To learn more about the amazing work that the honeybee does and their decline due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), you can visit The Nature Conservancy’s website here.