file photo by Boyd Loving

September 9,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Resident Frank Mortimer Jr. put forward the idea to the Village Council that Ridgewood should become the first Bee City in New Jersey . The Ridgewood Wildscape association is also a big supporter
and has previously done plantings at Twinney’s Pond Park  and Kings and Gypsy Pond Parks.

So what’s a Bee City ?Bee City USA fosters ongoing dialogue in urban areas to raise awareness of the role pollinators play in our communities and what each of us can do to provide them with healthy habitat.
The Bee City USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in a resolution, for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.By becoming a Bee City USA affiliate, local leaders can improve their community’s environment, eating habits, and even economy.

A “honey bee” is any member of the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests from wax. Currently, only seven species of honey bee are recognized, with a total of 44 subspecies, though historically six to eleven species are recognized. The best known honey bee is the Western honey bee which has been domesticated for honey production and crop pollination. Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the roughly 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, including the stingless honey bees, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees. The study of bees, which includes the study of honey bees, is known as melittology.

In the United States, there are over 4,000 species of native bees. Familiar bees visiting garden flowers are the colorful, fuzzy, yellow-and-black striped bumblebees, metallic-green sweat bees, squash bees, and imported honeybee. These flower-seeking pollen magnets purposefully visit flowers to collect pollen and nectar for food for themselves and their young.

Pollination, quite simply, is the way many plants reproduce. Since plants are immobile, they require assistance with their reproduction, and that’s where pollinators come in. They take pollen from one plant to another, thereby making plant reproduction possible.

But in recent years some scientists think the world’s bees are in trouble, addressing the underlying problems contributing to their demise, from the use of dangerous pesticides to the destruction of their habitat, is painfully slow. While this issues is still up for debate. When it comes to actually working out why the bees are dying the confusion is even greater. Some Scientists think something called the varroa mite is partly responsible for the bee emergency. They suck the blood of infected insects, weakening their immune systems.

An industrious worker bee may visit 2,000 flowers per day. She can’t carry pollen from that many flowers at once, so she’ll visit 50-100 flowers before heading home. All day long, she repeats these round trip flights to forage, which puts a lot of wear and tear on her body. A hardworking forager may live just 3 weeks.

A single honey bee worker produces about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. For honey bees, there’s power in numbers. From spring to fall, the worker bees must produce about 60 lbs. of honey to sustain the entire colony during the winter.It takes tens of thousands of workers to get the job done

Looking to save the bees ,Beekeeping  has become very popular in recent years along with the positive view of the healing powers local honey especially the view local honey helps fight allergies.

The maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect their honey and other products that the hive produces (including beeswax, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly), to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or “bee yard”.