When you hear bees, the first thing that probably comes into mind is honey. You need to manage your plants well to achieve optimum yields. Apart from human labor, a farmer needs a number of smaller workers known as bees. They are indirectly involved in fruit production. You need bees to enhance pollination, whether you are growing cherries, avocado, strawberries, macadamia, or other flowering trees. Without enough pollination, you will harvest only a few fruits, which would be pretty disappointed. If you are growing apples, for instance, and the blossoms are not sufficiently pollinated, the trees will bear only a few ‘wonky’ and underdeveloped fruits. For strawberries, the fruits remain small and misshapen. Bee pollinated flowers are better shaped and of higher quality. Bees are well adapted to pollinate and transfer pollen between flowering plants, enhancing pollination. Here are various reasons why bees are farmer’s best friend.
Beers as pollinators: Experiencing a more bountiful garden.
Have you ever passed close to a blossoming fruit tree? What did you realize? Fruit trees carry thousands of flowers but can only bear fruits if there is adequate pollination. Although pollination can be done by wind, it’s not efficient. Self-pollination will not be enough. As a grower, you understand the importance of cross-pollination. Apart from promoting diversity, it enhances the productivity of an orchard. With the decreasing number of wild bees due to habitat loss and human activity, farmers cannot entirely rely on nature to pollinate their plants.
For this reason, you need beehives in or close to your orchard. They transfer pollen grains from the flower of one plant to another of a similar plant. This helps the flowers to continue growing.
Preparation of bees
A hive should be above a certain strength in terms of bee numbers to adequately pollinate fruit tree blossoms. However, to build a large population of honey bees, you need to create a conducive environment to sustain the population. It can be challenging to build the population during cool conditions or if the nectar and pollen sources are insufficient. To have the desired number of bees, you should try to set up a hive near the flowering season, probably between March and June.
Pest Management During Pollination
Pesticides are one of the major contributors to the decline in the bee population. During the flowering period, you should avoid applying broad-spectrum pesticides. Also, if post-bloom pesticide applications are planned, you should remove the beehives immediately after pollination.
Apart from pollination, how else will a farmer benefit from beekeeping?
Here are several ways you can benefit from bees as a grower
- Apart from pollination, bees have a delicious reward: raw honey. You will also earn a steady revenue from beekeeping. Besides, you can add the honey to tea or toast, consume it raw, or use it in place of sugar. Once stored in a sealed container, you can store the honey for a long time. It never expires.
- You can also harvest beeswax and use them to produce other products like soap, lip balms, lotions, and other skincare products.
- Also, you can use beeswax to make products such as cutting board conditioners, wood furniture polish, and wax food wraps.
Pollination is the highest contributor to crop yields. Become a better gardener by practicing beekeeping. At OxfarmAg, we offer free beehives for any fruit package purchased to help you scale up your fruit production. We also provide beehives at competitive prices to help farmers venture into beekeeping.