At Creekside Farms we are quite familiar with bees buzzing around us as we walk through our fields. We've had an abundance of bees in our fields and want to highlight one of our favorite insects. They are an important part of the growing process. They pollinate our flowers, fruits, and vegetables which promotes a healthier and stronger plant, and in turn a more abundant harvest. They are a critical part of agriculture; ensuring quality and quantity.
The fur on their legs and bodies helps collect pollen from plants spreading it from plant to plant as they gather as much as possible to take back to the hive to make honey. A bee can flap their wings over 200 times per second and are able to fly twenty miles an hour. There are over 20,000 species of bees, but our favorite is the honeybee.
We typically see the honeybees start working in early spring and as the weather warms, bees start venturing out of their hives after their winter hibernation. As the flowers start blooming, we see them working alongside us in the fields. Going from flower-to-flower collecting pollen and nectar across our fields and pollinating as they go. Bees work so hard to ensure the quality and quantity of our harvest each year and with this year being one of the best lavender harvests, we want to show our love for the bees.
It can be intimidating when you get near bee hives and you start to hear all the buzzing and commotion, but without these bees our plants wouldn’t be as healthy and we would have less to harvest. As the summer begins and our lavender starts to bloom, we notice the abundance of bees that are in the fields. This is a good indicator that our lavender, herbs, or flowers are almost ready to harvest. Once the fields are filled with bees, it is time to harvest.
Unfortunately, bees are currently in a state of decline. Their decline is primarily associated with extreme weather and pesticides. Here are a few things we can all do to help with the bee population.
- Plant local flora or have a small bee garden in a corner of your yard with heavy pollen creating plants. Bee’s love gardens. They provide a safe place for them to live and build a colony and also provide much needed nutrients for them.
- Go pesticide free! Pesticides are harmful to beneficial insects like bees and your garden doesn’t need pesticides to thrive.
- Shop from local honey vendors and buy from local beekeepers. In doing so you are supporting your community and helping support natural care of bees. And, as an added bonus, consuming products made with honey from your local beekeepers can help with seasonal allergies!
- Last but not least, plant a tree for bees! Believe it or not, bees get most of their nectar from trees. Bees often nest and create hives in trees because they provide shelter and are a natural food source.
We all benefit from bees and can enjoy the fruits of their labor: honey! There are many uses for honey. One of our favorites is spreading it with peanut butter to make a flavorful sandwich. Here's a colorful and delicious summer salad recipe that uses honey in the dressing. Let us know your favorite use for honey.