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Beekeeping, the sweetest hobby

Without bees, so much of the food we enjoy, from apples to avocados to broccoli, would simply not exist. That’s because these foods are dependent on the pollinating that the bees do as they travel from flower to flower in search of their food source, pollen. According to backyardbeekeepers.com honeybees account for upwards of 80%

Without bees, so much of the food we enjoy, from apples to avocados to broccoli, would simply not exist. That’s because these foods are dependent on the pollinating that the bees do as they travel from flower to flower in search of their food source, pollen. According to backyardbeekeepers.com honeybees account for upwards of 80% of insect pollination.

The Two Row Times is lucky to count amongst its staff a dedicated hobby beekeeper, Advertising Coordinator Josh Bean. In an interview this week Josh spoke to us about these “awesomely resilient creatures.”

Josh was drawn to honeybees because of their sense of community and the high level of organization of honeybee colonies. He is inspired by bees and thinks there are lessons to be taken from their behaviour, “We’re stronger as a group than we are as individuals,” said Bean.

He invites those who are interested in the wellbeing and survival of honeybees to take up beekeeping themselves. Bean started by doing lots of research, checking out books from the library and reading materials that are readily available online. He suggests those interested in taking up the hobby get in touch with beekeepers in their area. They will be grateful for the help and will save you the trouble of having to purchase your own equipment. With some volunteer experience under your belt, you can join the local beekeeping association and you can then set off to have your own backyard hive. “It’s a pretty forgiving and pretty fun hobby to get into,” stated Bean.

For those who want to help the honeybee population but aren’t ready or willing to have their own hive, Josh suggests planting bee friendly plants in your garden. But he cautions everyone to watch out for plants that have been treated with “neonicotinoids” – insecticides with chemicals that are extremely harmful to bees.

Unfortunately bees get a bad rap with most of us clinging on to childhood memories of beestings, when the reality is, honeybees don’t often sting and really do so much for us. “One of the things that’s great about backyard beekeeping is that it raises awareness,” said Bean. So if you’re compelled, get out there, become a beekeeper, and you’ll receive a sweet reward.

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Lucho Granados Ceja

Lucho Granados Ceja

cumbia loving, football watching, anti-imperialist and anti-colonial organizer. Six Nations, Ontario

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1 Comment

  • Clive Garlow
    August 23, 2014, 6:55 pm

    Good article. Thank you. It would be nice however, if Josh would write a follow up article about the plight of the bees in North America. They are dying by the millions and this needs to stop. Josh would know all about this and why. People can do as I have done and plant your gardens with the bees in mind as they need all the help they can get. In short, they are in a deadly spiral of decline and without intervention, could possibly become extinct. If that happens, humans’ supply of food will also decline….drastically.

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