Our next Bee Talk will be on Sunday, June 19th.
Recently there has been a lot in the news about the declining population of the bees and Monarch butterflies world wide. We're doing our best to help both populations recover and support those who are trying to do so. Without our pollinators, we wouldn't have our crops.
We do not employ the use of pesticides/herbicides that are harmful to either species. Our farm is now home to Vlad's bees and his many new hives, who together produce the beautiful glass bottles of honey available in our store. We have been so fortunate to have him host Bee Talks on select days to teach the public about the bees and their care.
Vlad has created two videos on beekeeping. The first link shows Vlad capturing a bee swarm and the second shows how here extracts honey from the hives.
We employ the use of bumblebees every season to help us naturally manage certain diseases/pests that are common to our crops. Through Bee Vectoring Technology (BVT) we are able to control for things such as Botrytis on our strawberries. Dr. John Sutton from the University of Guelph developed the concept of BVT. Bee vectoring involves bees delivering spores that target things such as harmful fungi, but don't affect anything else. The spores are deposited on plants by bees during pollination. Our farm was used as a research farm for this technology and we have found it to be a highly effective and sustainable way to control for what most farms use pesticides for. Bees are truly amazing!
We allow Milkweed plants to flourish on our farm in order to encourage the Monarch habitat. Milkweed is the exclusive plant on which Monarchs lay their eggs and the larva feed from. There has been a 97% decline in Monarch population from their high over the past twenty years. This is partially due to the destruction over their overwintering grounds in Mexico, but in large part due to the elimination of Milkweed here as a result of large scale monoculture farming and development. Although we aren't a big farm, we're trying to help in preserving and increasing their habitat in the hopes it may aid in their population recovery.