Friday, February 3, 2012

The Bees Knees

Berkshire Botanical Gardens is hosting some great classes this upcoming Saturday.

Now is the time to start thinking about your spring and summer gardens. Bees are vital to earth's food production. Bees are immensely important to the success of over 90 types of food crops all over the world. Most varieties of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are dependent on bees, as are crops used as in feed for human's protein sources. Albert Einstein reportedly said the human race would last only four years in a world without bees, while there is debate over whether the great physicist made the claim, no one disputes the fact that we would be in serious trouble were bees to disappear. Bees are now in danger of dying out. In the winter of 2008, one in every three hives were lost.

Beekeeping is not an expensive hobby to take up and the rewards, aside from the sweet rewards of honey, that you are contributing to the world's overall sustainability, make it a very worthwhile undertaking.

Beekeeping for Gardeners: Getting Started in Backyard Beekeeping- 9 am – noon
This workshop is for everyone with an interest in honeybees and beekeeping. Learn how to start a honeybee colony, the seasonal management required to keep a healthy hive of bees and the role of pollinators and their relationship to flowering plants.  Topics provide an overview of the beekeeper's job, and will help new beekeepers, or those who are considering becoming a beekeeper, to make the correct choices for starting a backyard apiary. Equipment and tools used by the beekeeper will be discussed, and step-by-step instructions for starting a new colony of bees will be covered.  At the end of the workshop participants should have a solid understanding of how to successfully begin as a new beekeeper.

The Secret Life of Bees 1 – 2:30 pm
Most gardeners are familiar with the sight of a honey- bee forager as she visits flowers in our gardens, but few of us understand the intricacies of bee life within the hive. Join Heather Mattila, assistant professor at Wellesley College, for a lively talk about honeybees and honeybee behavior. She will discuss the secret life of honeybees, including the different kinds of bees that are found in hives, the jobs they do, as well as the means by which honeybees communicate to ensure a healthy and productive colony. This lecture appeals to beginner and seasoned beekeepers as well as naturalists.

Berkshire Botanical Garden (less then an hour from the 1896 House)
5 West Stockbridge Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262
Phone: 413-298-3926