The old saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” has been a great comfort to me over the years, since I figure that means the road to heaven is paved with bad thoughts, which are all too easy to come by. Since ancient times, we’ve built chemins, highways, byways, boulevards, terraces, turnpikes, tow-paths, and bike paths. But given the astonishing pace at which our native pollinator populations are dwindling, it’s a critical time to blaze a new kind of road. A pathway, to be specific.
Posts Tagged ‘bees’
On my twice-monthly drive on Highway 416 between Prescott and Ottawa, I pass the sign for Kemptville, a town of about 3,500 which lies roughly 40 km north of the St. Lawrence. It has a rich history, and no doubt is a fine place to live, but one of these days I need to stop there to verify that Kemptville is in fact a village of surpassing tidiness. (It’s Exit 34 in case anyone wants to take some field notes and get back to me.)
Most of us would prefer not to live in totally unkempt surroundings, but Western culture may have taken sanitation a bit too far. Claims that cleanliness is next to godliness have yet to be proven by science, but research does indicate a neat, well-coiffed landscape is bad for bees and other pollinators. » Continue Reading.
The results of a survey, believed to be the first of its kind, to identify the health of Northern New York bees, as well as the presence of key parasites and pathogens in regional bee colonies have been posted.
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program provided a small grant for a survey of Northern New York bee colonies to contribute to regional knowledge and educate regional beekeepers on practices to better maintain the health of their bees and their businesses.
The data on the levels of 8 viruses in the NNY bee colonies contributes to a statewide database on the factors influencing pollinator health and identifying current management practices by beekeepers. » Continue Reading.
The Wild Center has announced Pollinator Week from Monday, June 19th until Sunday, June 25th.
The slow, steady work of pollination does more than provide beautiful floral scenery — the work being done by these pollinators contributes to our food security and survival.
The Wild Center is inviting visitors to delve deeper into the story of these creatures with special programming and a packet of pollinator friendly wildflowers customized for the Adirondack region.
» Continue Reading.
The honey bee is an introduced species in North America. It’s only been here about 400 years, brought by English colonists who found none after stumbling ashore and then promptly put in an order with their backers back home.
The honey bee, more properly known as the European honey bee, took to its new home, spreading across the continent faster than its keepers. Thomas Jefferson, an astute observer of nature if there ever was one, wrote that Native Americans called them “the white man’s fly.”
Bee colonies thrived in hollow trees as well as in hollow logs called “bee gums” (later bee hives) kept by beekeepers. Thrived, that is, until recently, when wild honeybee populations crashed. Of several contributing factors, the main one is undoubtedly Varroa destructor, a bloodsucking mite native to Asia.. Like a tiny eight-legged vampire, the pencil point-sized red mite latches onto a bee and sucks its hemolymph (the bee version of blood) while spreading debilitating viruses. The mite’s introduction in the mid 1990s caused a crisis in American beekeeping and swept wild colonies from the woods. » Continue Reading.
On Wednesday, June 15, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Conservation Officer Stephen Gonyeau responded to a report of a large swarm of bees that had formed on a tree in a yard in Fort Edward.
According to DEC, ECO Gonyeau identified the swarm as honeybees and was aware that at this time of the year, hives often split due to overcrowding. A local bee keeper, retired DEC Division of Law Enforcement Lt. Bob Henke, was contacted to collect the bees and provide a suitable home for them. The swarm was estimated to contain between 10,000 and 15,000 bees. The large swarm was placed in a temporary hive and left for the worker bees to return to. It was later removed after the bees had returned to the hive after dark. » Continue Reading.
The sun is climbing higher each day and I know that it won’t be long until my honey bees are out seeking nectar and pollen.
From early-blooming red maple trees. Then sugar maples, apple trees, dandelions. From blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. From clover, staghorn sumac, and basswood trees. From milkweed in the abandoned field. From the coneflowers, thyme, and sage in our perennial garden. From asters and goldenrod; jewelweed and Japanese knotweed. For a bee, the warmer seasons are a Mardi Gras parade of nectars.
The European honey bee has been in North America almost as long as the Europeans who brought it. It is a miracle of nature, pollinating plants with abandon, while turning their nectars into one of nature’s most delicious substances. In a good year a hive can produce 60 pounds or more of surplus honey. But mileage may vary, as they say. Much about production, and flavor, depends on weather and location. » Continue Reading.
Wait, before you go,
sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!