Bees!

bee children

My first custom pollination job has arrived!  It is truly exciting for my family to have 288 hives of honey bees brought in to help pollinate our canola crop.  Although canola is known as self-pollinating, field tests from other countries have shown a pretty good yield increase from bee assisted pollination when the numbers of hives are great enough.

open hive old

These bees came straight to my farm from California almond groves, where their work is hard and the pollen is not very good for them, but that is a crop where bee keepers make their money.  Crops like canola are an excellent source of protein, fat, and sugar rich pollen to bring tired, weak, de-populated colonies back into a state of prime strength.

bee hives built once

After the bees had only been at their new home on my farm for a week, the bee keepers came and built up the hives with extra boxes full of foundations for new honeycombs.  It won’t be long before the beeswax combs will be built and filled with honey.  I am planning to bottle and sell some of the honey in May.

 

List of Wildlife Conservation Practices

List of Wildlife Conservation Practices

sophia and frog

  • Bee hives are hosted seasonally on the edges of our fields.
  • Cautions are taken to avoid drift of chemicals into areas where bees are present.
  • Hay mowing is sometimes done from the inside of the field to the outside with a bar on the front of the tractor dragging chains through the grass to flush out critters to avoid chopping them up.
  • Borders around the fields are left in many places sown in grass as habitat.
  • Agents to deter deer from eating crops are not used.
  • Planned flooding of cropland for seasonal waterfowl is practised.
  • Native warm season grass plantings on some field borders as a project of the NRCS.
  • Plots of native flowering plants seeded for wild bees and other pollinators.