- Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 10:04
Daily Elk Citian
How much do you know about bees? Do you know that approximately 75 percent of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the United States is bee-related? That makes them pretty important to our food supply, and too few people know that.
Think of honeybees as tiny, yellow, black-striped farmers with wings that have a bad reputation. Although many plants are self-pollinating, there are many others that rely on these little creatures to do the pollinating for them – like apples, oranges, berries, carrots and onions, just to name a few.
But with the extreme heat this summer, no rain, and dried-up water sources, several of the area's beekeepers have become concerned.
Tim McCoy owns Second Wind Farms near Weatherford. He raises bees along with chickens and cattle. Right now, his 25,000-plus bees are having a hard time.
"[The weather] has dried up a lot of their pollen sources, that's why I put my bees out on sesame because he needs pollination and my bees need something to eat," McCoy said.
Most beekeepers rent out their hives and move them to different locations where vegetation farmers need some extra help for better production. So in exchange for food for his bees, McCoy has done just that.
"We need to have all the bees we can get," he said.
HOW TO HELP THE HONEYBEES
-Place a clean birth bath, or similar object, in the shade up off of the ground.
-Place a clean saucer onto a brick in the birdbath so that when the birdbath is filled with water, it does not get into the saucer.
-Fill the birdbath with water, and fill the saucer with sugar water, leaving enough room for the bees to walk around the edge.
-Cut a floating life preserver for the bees. (They are not good swimmers.)
-Make the life preserver out of thin bubble wrap or Styrofoam so if they fall in the water they can get out.
-If you are afraid of bees, you can tend to the feeder after dark.
For the full story, pick up the Friday, August 10, edition of the Daily Elk Citian.