Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Bees Knees
That right there is a housing development for the most important laborers of all: bees. Without the bees, no one else gets to work, because without them, there's no fruit. These particular bees are serious migrant workers. They travel all over the country for work. Their biggest gig is pollinating almonds in California. I love these guys, even though I'm still afraid of 'em too. It's amazing how long a childhood sting lasts in the old amygdala, eh?
The hives in the picture were rented by the fellow who is leasing the bigger part of our orchard. All the major growers rent hives. Here at Little Dog, we're working on figuring out what to plant that will attract native pollinators. According to a recent article in New York Fruit Quarterly, there are as many as 81 different species of native bees who are willing to hang out and do what needs to be done in order for these trees to bear fruit. Can you imagine? 81 different species in New York alone! That's exciting news for me for a couple of reasons. Reason one is that I don't have to be as concerned about colony collapse disorder. Reason two is because, for some reason, cultivating plants that attract native pollinators is less scary to me than starting my own honey bee hives.
If you have questions about bees, post 'em! I probably won't be able to answer off the top of my head, but this is how I learn.