Importance of Beekeeping
If you were to ask a child what he or she wanted to become when they grow up the likely responses would range from astronaut to doctor to football player. If someone says they would like to become a beekeeper, it is important to know that the science of beekeeping is called Apiculture. The role of a beekeeper is very important to us today and has a long history of being one of the most important contributors to the production of many agricultural crops.
According to Oakland University the bee first arrived on United States soil when Europeans brought them over in hives in the 1620s. Seven bee species of 16,000 make the honey we consume. Honeybees gather large amounts of nectar and pollen from flowers, a process called pollination, to make honey.
When they return to the hive, they fan their wings to evaporate the water from the nectar, turning it into honey. The gooey golden treat is done when the bees add an enzyme from their specialized glands and seal it within the comb.
Honeybees cross-pollinate flowers which produce fruit and seeds for growing crops. To farmers, the honeybees are worth billions of dollars. In fact, farmers rent honeybee colonies from the apiculturist for these purposes.
A “bee scientist” may not top the list of your kids’ occupational aspirations but it sure ranks as a sweet one and an important one for the environment! If you or your child would like to become a beekeeper or you would like to learn more information on beekeeping the Hoke County Beekeepers meet the last Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Hoke County Center located at 116 West Prospect Avenue in Raeford, N.C.
For more information contact me, Mary Hollingsworth, Extension horticultural agent, at the Extension Center, by phone at 910-875-3461, or by E-mail at Mary_Hollingsworth@ncsu.edu.