Monday, March 26, 2012

The Birds and the Bees

The past weekend I attended a beekeeping seminar where they also showed birds of prey.  A friend of mine graduated with an Agriculture degree and learned about bees long ago in college.  He recently has become more interested in them especially when it comes to urban beekeeping, so when he found this seminar, he asked if I would join him because I had expressed interest in the past.  It was held in a place called Franklintown, Pennsylvania which was about 2 hours away.  So early Saturday morning, he and his partner picked me up at my house and we left for the drive.
I must say that the whole thing was quite fascinating.  I was never really exposed to hives and honey making but was always curious and found that there are two major ways people can keep bees.  The hive type that everyone knows about is the most popular, but there are also solitary bees that do not create honey that people can keep.  The later type is much less work and the main reason one would keep those kinds of bees is to increase pollination in your fruits and vegetables.  Since I am beginning to start getting into growing more fruits, and because I don’t really have the time to devote to this hobby, I may do the solitary beekeeping. 
Bees play an extremely important part in our lives whether we know it or not.  The increase of the usage of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, petroleum based fertilizers, and even the use of GMO seeds has severely hurt the bee population which can dramatically affect our food growth.  If the bee population is good on or near a farm, the bees can help improve the yields of the food the people are growing and that can lead to better quality foods and lower prices.  We watched a documentary called Queen of the Sun that is all about the current crisis with a situation called Colony Collapse Syndrome.  This condition seems to have a direct correlation to what we are doing which is hurting the bee population and ultimately hurting ourselves.  There is a very close relationship in nature where things are done for a particular reason and we are causing quite an upset in that relationship.  When the world collapses it will ultimately be our fault so I believe it is our responsiblity to repair this damage.  I only hope we can accomplish this before it goes too far.

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