I have always had a passion for outdoor activities and our natural world. This passion is what led me to become a beekeeper. (You can follow my journey here.)
Bees are fascinating creatures, as they pollinate 80% of flowering plants and a third of the food we humans eat. Their pollination is crucial because much of our food relies on fertilization from bees to reproduce. Simply put – without the bees, we could go hungry.
World Bee Day first launched in 2017. Today, for the third year in a row, the world celebrates bees for their contribution to our ecosystem and aims to bring awareness to their growing scarcity. In North America alone, the bee population has been on the decline for seventy years. The cause of this decline isn’t specifically clear. It is likely a combination of many factors, including our farming practices, bee habitat destruction due to things like city commercial development, single-crop farming, and diseases like those carried by the Varroa mite.
I enjoy being a beekeeper because it enables me to help give back. I have three hives, with each hive containing up to 70,000 adult bees during the summer growing season. But beekeeping isn’t the only way to help grow our bee population. As a homeowner, you can help by planting any number of flowers that attract and feed bees. While the list varies by region, here is a good starting point.
- Butterfly Bushes
In addition to beekeeping, I am also a member of one of Mosquito Squad’s hundreds of franchises, serving customers in the Greensboro, NC region. This info may come as a surprise – I treat customer yards while keeping bees on my own? I sure do. I launched my career with Mosquito Squad in 2009 and have gone on to service over 100,000 properties. I walk this dual path because I recognize that not all insects contribute as positively as bees do. Mosquitoes and ticks can carry dangerous viruses that can negatively impact your health and impede your ability to enjoy nature’s playground.
Beekeeping is giving me new insight into how Integrated Pest Management can help humans and animals coexist together in nature. But at Mosquito Squad, we have always educated all our technicians on the importance of flowering plants, and how to carefully treat them in our customer’s yards. Also, mosquitoes and bees do not harbor and forage in the same places. As such, we take great care to avoid areas where bees forage. Not only are Mosquito Squad's treatments safe for pollinators, but we have a network of franchise owners who are committed to protecting the bees through beekeeping.
On World Bee Day, I stand (or buzz) with the bees. But I’m also proud to be part of a company that helps people enjoy their yard with the people and pets they love – bees included.