Monday, April 19, 2010

Why are we going to keep bees in our yard?

This is a question I've heard from neighbors, my kids, friends, and of course my wife.  Why you ask? 

Over the past 15 years I've had some spectacular vegtable gardens.  Growing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, jalapenos, basil, strawberries, beans, pumpkins, and of course Zuccini.  Zuccini and cucumbers are probably two of the easiest vegtables to grow.  I think I've seen them growing stright out of rocks in some gardens.  Water, dirt, and of course some seeds and you'll produce some fruits.

Well, that wasn't the case for me in the last two years.  What happened in my garden was that I had huge plants that just never produced many fruits.  The measly 3 cucumbers were pointed on one end and fat on the other.  After doing some research I learned that this shape is indicative of improper pollenation.  Cucumbers can pollenate from the wind and other bugs but are very dependant on honey bees.  So I did further research and learned more about the bad situation the honey bees are in due to Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD.  (which I won't go into in this blog)

I did a little more research and learned about Top Bar Hives or TBH's, which I will also not go into detail on because there's a ton of info out there on TBH's.  One good source of info is the Barefoot Beekeeper.  As a result I just completed the construction of three TBH's.  One will be placed in my backyard, one at the cousin's house in Louisville, and the other is awaiting a swarm because there were no package bees left for purchase as of recently.

I'll add some photos of the hives shortly.  We get our bees for the two hives next Sunday and will take some pics of the install.

That's all for now.


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