Backyard Honey Beekeeping
Just as the tulips are a sign of spring in New England, so is the buzzing sound of the honey bees as they pollinate local orchards, crops, and flower gardens. An essential force in the world's food supply, Weston Table's esteemed guest, founder, and director of BEST BEES CO. and the URBAN BEEKEEPING LABORATORY AND BEE SANCTUARY, Noah Wilson-Rich, began his discussion of backyard honey beekeeping. "I would like to encourage you to open your mind: What can you do to save the bees, or to help them, or to think of sustainable cities in the future, or really just change your perspective? The challenges faced by bees today--from habitat loss to pesticides and deadly diseases--threaten not only the bees themselves but potentially all of human life."
He certainly captured the attention of all fifty-five gardening enthusiasts listening to him. With a charming and amiable delivery, he quelled myths, answered questions, and shared a hypothesis surrounding colony collapse disorder and the alarming disappearance of honey bees since 2006 (even the bees bodies disappeared it seemed into thin air).
Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.
― Ray Bradbury
WHY SHOULD EVERYONE BE CONCERNED ABOUT HONEYBEE HEALTH?
Why should everyone be concerned about honeybee health? Noah explained that, "as major players on the global economic stage, mainly because of their role as pollinators" the yield of the world's fruit and vegetable crops "would decline to less than 10 percent of current levels" if bees disappeared. Noah has his audience at "Hello." If he didn't, however, his bee authority was cemented when he confessed that he uses two hives on the balcony of his Dorchester apartment as coffee tables and that there is little to fear when it comes to the honey bees stinging: "If you are not a flower, the bees simply do not care about you."
Bring nearly any outdoor space to life....a single hive produces an average of 25 pounds of honey per year with nearly effortless maintenance. Hives come in many shapes and sizes and may be custom painted to enhance the natural surroundings.
Without honeybees, the supermarket as we know it would disappear--honeybees are responsible for 80% of the pollination of fruits, vegetables, and seed crops. For millions of years, the honeybee has buzzed around and contributed to man's smorgasbord. Beekeeping is a 4,500 year old honey harvesting tradition, and is the only food that contains all of the necessary nutrients to sustain life.