Last year’s garden (2014) was a huge success- if you judge it by the 30-foot pumpkin vine that grew there. If you judge it by its fruits and veggies, it was a sad failure. The 30-foot pumpkin vine produced flowers that should have led to pumpkins but the flowers on that vine, and on a lot of other plants in the garden, did not get pollinated. Here’s a clue why: last year, in our big yard and garden, I saw only two honey bees. My husband routinely leaves large areas of our yard, where clover grows wild, unmowed for the bees. Trying not to step on them used to be a problem. But in the past few years, they’ve gotten more and more rare, and last year, as I said, I only saw two.
I like bees and have always wanted to keep them. When I was a child, I used to catch them in jars because I thought if I caught enough of them, they’d build honeycombs and start making honey for me. That didn’t work, of course. More recently, when a nearby neighbor set up hives, we were thrilled- but the bees failed to thrive, probably because of the prevalence of other neighbors rigorously spraying chemicals on their gardens and fruit trees. Other factors played a role as well, but the end result is the same- no pollinators, no fruits, no veggies.
Do you have a desire to keep bees? Or just learn how bees and other pollinators affect our food supply, and what you can do to help? Here’s an opportunity: Buzzy from The Beekeeper’s Guild of Southeast Virginia will be on the island on April 18th, 2015 to answer all your beekeeping questions! Open to all, this event will be held rain or shine and is free (donations for Buzzy’s travel expenses and time are welcome but not required). Refreshments served after the class (your contributions of snacks or drinks also welcome!)
- Date: Saturday, April 18th, 2015
- Time: 10:30am
- Place: 204 Parker Lane, Knotts Island, NC
Call/text me at 252.722.1690 or moonrabbit220 (at) gmail.com if you have questions or need directions. You can join this event on Facebook here. This event is hosted by me, Mari Mann, at my IslandLotus Yoga location. All are welcome to join!