Each year, the Bristol Land Conservation Trust, for which I am a volunteer hosts a lecture. This year was all about the Honey Bee. Our board president, Raymon Payson met a beekeeper named Jon Nelson who has created a no-kill method of removing unwanted bees from people’s houses and landscapes. Besides being a more humane and eco-friendly method of removal, it’s also a much safer method as he removes the hive and all of the honeycomb they’ve built. If left behind, that honeycomb (which can weigh hundreds of pounds) will inevitably drip honey into a home and attract other pests. Jon harvests the honey, giving some to his clients, and reestablishes the hives on his own property. He has designed and constructed a specialized vacuum with low suction and a padded interior. He uses this to remove the bees from the hive without harming them.
You might have heard that the honeybee population is in serious trouble – Jon went into detail about the honeybee life history and the many challenges the species is currently facing. But perhaps one of the favorite moments of the evening is when we got to try over 15 different flavors of honey. Jon has a large, “library” of honey, most are collected from the various sites where he’s removed hives. We also received generous donations from Hana’s honey in Westport, MA and Littlefield Bee Farm on Block Island. An amazing thing about honey is that, like wine, it’s flavor can change depending on the season and location it’s produced. Each of Jon’s jars of honey is like a snapshot in time – that particular harvest is unique to the time of year, the hive, and the plants that are in bloom near the hive. They were all so different!
Three simple things we can do to help protect the honeybee population are:
1) Mow your lawn after 2pm – if you have lots of clover in your yard you can wipe out thousands of bees in one fell swoop! They retire for the day after 2pm so you can mow safely then.
2) Plant flowers that honeybees love – here’s a list !
3) Refrain from using pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals on your lawn and in your garden, try organic gardening methods instead.
And finally, I’ve decided to take a little blogging break. I have some personal projects that I need to focus on for the next few months, but I will be back by late Spring! I am so grateful to everyone who visits me here in this space, thank you so much and please stop by again in late spring. Please send me an email if you’d like me to notify you when I’m back in business!