Western Mass Honey Beekeepers | Connecting Point | July 9, 2019


>>>NO MATTER THE SEASON OR
PLACE, THESE ARE NEEDED TO CARRY POLLEN, BEES, AND HELP THE FOOD
WE EAT GROW. OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS,
HONEYBEES HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING TO STAY ALIVE ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, BUT WITH THE HELP OF LOCAL GROUPS LIKE ONE RIGHT HERE
IN WESTERN NEW ENGLAND, THE BEES ARE BUZZING BACK. “CONNECTING POINT” GOES TO ONE
BEEKEEPERS’ HOME IN LONG MEADOW.>>ALL RIGHT. WE’LL LOOK AT BOTH HIVES. WE’RE HOPING TO GET AT LEAST 30
POUNDS OF SPRING HONEY FROM EACH ONE.>>Reporter: MARK’S BACKYARD
IN LONG MEADOW IS FILLED WITH A “HUM” IN THE AIR. MORE SPECIFICALLY, A BUZZ.>>THIS HIVE WILL GET HARVESTED
PROBABLY AROUND JULY 4TH.>>HE’S A BACKYARD BEEKEEPER.>>WE HAD THE SAME THING ON BOTH
SIDES.>>A TREND BECOMING INCREASINGLY
POPULAR IN RECENT YEARS HAS A RESPONSE TO THE THREAT HONEYBEES
ARE FACING.>>THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF ISSUES
WITH COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER AND LOSS OF BEES FOR POLLINATION
THAT THE UNITED STATES RELIES ON FOR FOOD PRODUCTION. THERE WAS A SERIOUS ISSUE WITH
THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF BEEHIVES NOT SURVIVING OVER THE
WINTER. IT’S GETTING BETTER. UNFORTUNATELY, A STUDY JUST CAME
OUT THIS PAST WEEK WHERE THE AMOUNT OF COLONY LOSS IS UP
ABOUT 7% OR 9% FROM THE YEAR BEFORE. WINTER LOSSES ARE HIGHER THAN
THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST.>>THE THREE HIVES IN HIS YARD
ARE HEALTHY NOW.>>SO I WOULD SAY THOSE ARE
GRADE As AND THIS IS A GRADE C-MINUS.>>THANKS TO THE GUIDANCE
RECEIVED AS PART OF THE HAMPTON COUNTY BEEKEEPERS’ ASSOCIATION.>>JUST BEING A BEEKEEPER IS NOT
ENOUGH. YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE SCIENCE
BEHIND KEEPING BEES AND SKILLS NECESSARY TO KEEP YOUR HIVES
IN — KEEP YOUR HIVES HEALTHY.>>NATHAN SPARRY HAS 50 HIVES IN
RUSSELL, KEEPING THE FAMILY LEGACY ALIVE.>>BEEN KEEPING BEES SINCE ABOUT
2004, AND I GOT INTO BEE KEEPING AS A FAMILY TRADITION, SOMETHING
I WANTED TO KEEP IN THE FAMILY. THE BEES WOULD SELECT THE
APPROPRIATE AGED LARVA AND THEN START TO FEED THE ROYAL JELLY
MARK MENTIONED EARLIER, AND THEN EVENTUALLY THEY’LL CAP THESE
QUEEN CELLS OVER. ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS WE HAVE
IS A MITE ON BEES, AND THEY CAN BE WEAKENING TO A HIVE. THEY TRANSMIT VIRUSES AND
DISEASES TO BEES AND SO FORTH, AND SO TO PUT THEM INTO A
DIFFERENT CONTEXT, THEY ARE LIKE TICKS ARE ON A HUMAN. JUST TO THE POINT OF THE SCALE
OF THEM, WOULD BE LIKE HUMANS HAVING TICS THE SIZE OF
VOLLEYBALLS.>>THE BEES ARE BUZZING. JUNE AND JULY ARE THE BUSIEST
PART OF THE BEE SEASON. INSIDE THIS HIVE ALONE,
THOUSANDS OF BEES ARE PRODUCING HONEY FOR MARK. EACH OF THESE LITTLE PLANKS ARE
CALLED FRAMES, AND INSIDE EACH FRAME, RIGHT NOW, THERE’S ABOUT
3 POUNDS OF HONEY THAT’S BEING PRODUCED. NO TOTAL, THERE’S 70 POUNDS OF
HONEY INSIDE THIS HIVE.>>SO THEY TEND TO ACTUALLY GO 2
TO 3 MILES AWAY FROM THEIR HOME HIVE TO FORGE. NOW, WE HAVE AGRICULTURAL AREAS
AND FIELDS IN EAST ■LONGMEADOW.>>AS BEES TRAVEL FURTHER AWAY
FROM THE APIERRE, THERE’S TWO BENEFITS, ONE, HELPING CROPS AND
FARMS IN THE SURROUNDING TOWNS BY POLLINATION, AND BY GIVING
THE BEES POTENTIAL NEW LANDING SPOTS, SHOULD THEY DECIDE TO
MOVE.>>BEES NATURALLY PROPAGATE BY
SWARMING. THE TWO HIVES BEHIND ME ACTUALLY
SWARMED THIS YEAR, SO WHEN THE BEEHIVE GETS REALLY STRONG, THE
QUEEN DECIDES TO TAKE HALF OF HER COLONY AND LEAVE AND GO
SOMEWHERE ELSE.>>IT’S THE BIGGEST WAY BACKYARD
BEEKEEPERS GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY. GROWING THE BEE POPULATION, ONE
SEASON AT A TIME.>>I’M JUST GOING TO SHOW YOU
WHAT THIS HONEY LOOKS LIKE FROM THE WAX, AND YOU CAN SEE HOW
LIGHT THE HONEY IS FOR THE SPRING.

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