Arkansas Agriculture Edition 21 : Page 24

Ag Profile Giving mother nature a hand Being helpful to bees by Carol Sanders, UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences That’s where Dr. Yong Park, assistant professor and entomologist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), comes in. Dr. Park works with honeybees and the focus of his work is community outreach. UAPB has bee hives; 12 in Pine Bluff at the Agricultural Research Station, two in Marianna and four in Lonoke. However, UAPB will not be lending out its bees. Instead, Dr. Park teaches farmers how to take care of their own bees, and he serves as a resource and provides information. A single honeybee can visit more than a million flowers during its lifetime, which is about two months as a forager during the nectar collecting period. The usual number of honeybees in a healthy hive is more than 50,000. Farmers with crops requiring pollination should have one healthy hive every three miles, because honeybees cover a three-mile diameter. The “good” bees are the European honeybees, and the “killer” bees are the Africanized honeybees, which are smaller than the European bees. It’s hard to tell the two apart, even for scientists. “Many people think that aggressive European bees are the killer bees, F armers depend upon nature for pollination, but sometimes nature needs a little help. because the European bees may become aggressive for various reasons, such as bad weather or a queenless condition,” Dr. Park said. check the hive every two to three weeks,” Dr. Park advised. “This takes about 30 minutes or less if the hive is healthy and pollination is the goal. If something is wrong, then you’ll have to spend more time on the hive.” Swarming is generally a seasonal factor beekeepers have to address. If honeybees don’t get enough space to expand after overwintering, they start producing new queens more often. Swarming in the spring is a simple split mechanism in honeybees. The honeybees follow an old queen out of the hive, and a new queen occupies the hive. The remedy for swarming may be easy. For example, when space is scarce in early spring, honeybees are preparing to swarm. Just place another “super” on top of the hive. It helps reduce the number of swarmings. Dr. Park advises farmers working with honeybees to be sure to wear the white traditional beekeepers’ uniform. “There’s a reason for wearing white from head to toe, including the bee veil, made with wire netting to protect the head and neck from stings,” Dr. Park said. “Honeybees can become agitated by darker colors. And, that includes hair, skin or clothing color.” Of course, if farmers are raising bees for honey, they must take time to extract honey. Dr. Park knows about honey. He’s previously won awards at the Arkansas Beekeepers Association Honey Contest. Honey is judged on clarity, aroma, color, crystallization and taste. For more information on keeping bees for pollination or honey, farmers can contact Dr. Park at (870) 575-7245 (office), (630) 388-9483 (cell) or email him at parky@uapb.edu . Brad Mayhugh “A good beekeeper should Bee careful Dr. Yong Park, UAPB assistant professor and entomologist, wears the traditional white beekeepers uniform while checking the UAPB hives. A good keeper should check his hives every two to three weeks. ŒŒŒ* 24 Arkansas Agriculture

Ag Profile

Carol Sanders

Giving mother nature a hand<br /> <br /> Being helpful to bees<br /> <br /> Farmers depend upon nature for pollination, but sometimes nature needs a little help. That’s where Dr. Yong Park, assistant professor and entomologist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), comes in.<br /> <br /> Dr. Park works with honeybees and the focus of his work is community outreach. UAPB has bee hives; 12 in Pine Bluff at the Agricultural Research Station, two in Marianna and four in Lonoke. However, UAPB will not be lending out its bees. Instead, Dr. Park teaches farmers how to take care of their own bees, and he serves as a resource and provides information.<br /> <br /> A single honeybee can visit more than a million flowers during its lifetime, which is about two months as a forager during the nectar collecting period. The usual number of honeybees in a healthy hive is more than 50,000. Farmers with crops requiring pollination should have one healthy hive every three miles, because honeybees cover a three-mile diameter.<br /> <br /> The “good” bees are the European honeybees, and the “killer” bees are the Africanized honeybees, which are smaller than the European bees. It’s hard to tell the two apart, even for scientists.<br /> <br /> “Many people think that aggressive European bees are the killer bees, because the European bees may become aggressive for various reasons, such as bad weather or a queenless condition,” Dr. Park said.<br /> <br /> “A good beekeeper should check the hive every two to three weeks,” Dr. Park advised. “This takes about 30 minutes or less if the hive is healthy and pollination is the goal. If something is wrong, then you’ll have to spend more time on the hive.” <br /> <br /> Swarming is generally a seasonal factor beekeepers have to address. If honeybees don’t get enough space to expand after overwintering, they start producing new queens more often. Swarming in the spring is a simple split mechanism in honeybees. The honeybees follow an old queen out of the hive, and a new queen occupies the hive.<br /> <br /> The remedy for swarming may be easy. For example, when space is scarce in early spring, honeybees are preparing to swarm. Just place another “super” on top of the hive. It helps reduce the number of swarmings.<br /> <br /> Dr. Park advises farmers working with honeybees to be sure to wear the white traditional beekeepers’ uniform.<br /> <br /> “There’s a reason for wearing white from head to toe, including the bee veil, made with wire netting to protect the head and neck from stings,” Dr. Park said. “Honeybees can become agitated by darker colors. And, that includes hair, skin or clothing color.” <br /> <br /> Of course, if farmers are raising bees for honey, they must take time to extract honey. Dr. Park knows about honey. He’s previously won awards at the Arkansas Beekeepers Association Honey Contest. Honey is judged on clarity, aroma, color, crystallization and taste.<br /> <br /> For more information on keeping bees for pollination or honey, farmers can contact Dr. Park at (870) 575-7245 (office), (630) 388-9483 (cell) or email him at parky@uapb.edu.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
 
Loading