by Marianne Olive
On a day like today, wet and rainy, I think of my honey bees and my garden. Though my organic raised bed garden loves the rain,rainy weather and cold winter weather is not a friend to the honey bees. The rais washes the pollin off the trees, bushes and flowering gardens, and leaves the bees starving for food.
My Dad was a beekeeper, along with raising goats, pigs, chickens and huge fields of organic produce and fruits. I was raised tolove and respect the honey bees important role in the pollunation of most fruits, vegetablestrees,bushes and vegetation in the world. When I noticed a swarm, I would tell my Dad and he would cut down the branch with the swarm on it and install it into a new hive. It was just part of our every day lives. I watched him care for the bees, spin the honey frames in the honey extractor, jar them up and prepare the bees for the winter.
As an adult, I have taken up many of my fathers wonderful hobbies and skills. Beekeeping and organic gardening are two of the most wonderful joys in my life outside of my children and my pets.
Let me tell you about the life of the honey bees. Every hive has one queen and 60,000 to 120,000 worker bees that are all non laying females, and about 30 to 40 drones; the male honey bees. The queen is the heart of the hive and the worker bees are the body. The drones are produced by the queen in small numbers only for reproduction purposes. None can exist without the other.
Marianne Olive is a candidate for the Mayor of Nyack, NY.