To bee or not to bee

file000817686898To bee or not to bee; that is the question. We are thinking about getting bees again. Not because we are managing our current farm responsibilities with precision and ease, but bees are just so amazing. (And we really like honey.) 5 apple trees and bees. Doesn’t that sound like a nice improvement for the farm this year? This was all scratching away inside me when I found out about a bee seminar and read an article by a friend and master gardener, Margaret Rose Realy, within twenty-four hours of each other.

“A decade ago the fruit set was about a third more than it is today. Extra plants are needed to get the same amount of food. The issue is not with the cultivars, and the problem is pretty straight forward—no bees.

And no bees, no food.

It doesn’t matter if you’re growing in containers on a patio or running a multi-million dollar farm. Without pollinators—I’m talking about insects—fertilization and fruitfulness doesn’t happen. No apples or oranges, no cucumbers or tomatoes,”  she writes.


Read the whole thing here:  and find out what you can do to help bees (oh, and plants, animals, and humans, too) when you’re heading out to buy plants this spring.

And while your at it, pray that all the buzzing in our heads here on County Road 21 yields sweet results, in the form of either honey or infusions of common sense about the matter of bees. It’s too soon to say if we’ll try it, much less if we’ll like it, but one thing is for sure. Reading about it is very interesting.

6 Comments to To bee or not to bee

  1. Esther J Cann says:

    How far from the house are your apple trees? If not too close, I say, “Go for it!”

    • Michelle says:

      We have a few old apple trees in the pasture, but adding more apple trees is more of the adventure under consideration. :)

  2. Cindy says:

    Hmmm, the whole bee thing would be so great and the product so much greater – but you said “thinking about getting bees – again”. Have you had bees before and how did that go?

    • Michelle says:

      We’ve never had bees before. The “again” part only refers to the thinking about getting them. I had myself convinced a year ago and then got cold feet about whether we could handle another project. Discussions are in progress with the boys about whether they’d like to take this on. I’m signed up for a seminar on bees in a few weeks, so a decision is coming soon. I’m glad you see the pull of having your very own honey. The thought gets me very excited and down the track trading honey for homemade cheese somewhere. :)

  3. Barb says:

    Those clever out-of-the-box thinking Heuvel boys got into bees a couple of summers ago. Perhaps a good local resource?