To Bee or Not to Bee 1

Parker Sees Bees

Sixteen ounces of honey requires 1,152 bees to travel 112,000 miles and visit 4.5 million flowers. Sit back and ponder those statistics the next time you add a teaspoon of honey to your hot tea. That is a lot of bees, travel time and flowers.

If someone would have told you 10 years ago that we would have song lyrics, products, festivals and thousands of Pinterest images all due to these fascinating, tiny, black and yellow insects with a mighty job, would you have believed them? So what is all the buzz about?

In recent years, scientists have seen a decline in the honeybee population due to several factors, including industrial agriculture’s use of insecticides, parasites and climate change. Most recently a trend is emerging to “save the bees!” More and more people are becoming aware of the need to keep our bee population thriving. Did you know that nearly one-third of our fruit and vegetable food supply is derived from the work of bees – pollination?

Education is certainly a place to begin. Local beekeepers, like Nick French of Frangiosa Farm, work to educate the public about honeybees. Workshops are given to provide general information, as well as educate those who might be interested in becoming a beekeeper.

French’s small batch, micro-apiary operation can be summed up by what he says best:  “Frangiosa Farm is committed to responsible beekeeping in the face of bee decline through community education, backyard beekeeping and support of locally sourced pure simple honey.” French uses organic practices and produces tasty local organic honey.

Interested in jumping in on Parker’s trending bee phenomenon? Learn how to become a beekeeper by doing online research or talk to local beekeepers or visit a retail store who sells beekeeping kits.

Don’t want to become a beekeeper? Well, there are several ways you can become involved.  Frangiosa Farm offers an Adopt-A-Honey-Bee program where your donation helps to support the financial needs of keeping a hive healthy and productive. You can plant pollinators in your yard that will attract bees and other pollinating insects. Purchasing bee products from local bee farms is another great way to support the industry. Items can be purchased directly from farms, online or you can visit Mainstreet General Store in downtown Parker.

So whether your interest is to become a beekeeper or to support the beekeeping industry by purchasing some raw local honey, come on out to the Honey Festival to catch a glimpse of what the buzz is all about.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”

–Henry David Thoreau

Beekeeping information can also be found on the Town’s website at ParkerOnline.org. The Parker Cultural and Scientific Commission, a citizen advisory group, was instrumental in helping with the passage of a new Town ordinance in October 2015 that allows and promotes urban beekeeping in Parker.