September 18, 2020
Beekeeping, also known as apiculture, is the practice of maintaining beehives by humans for a variety of reasons — whether it is collecting honey, promoting pollination for plants and crops, or just for the sake of a hobby. A few years ago my mother decided that she wanted to become a beekeeper. I thought it was so bizarre and came out of nowhere. She spent months reading books and attending classes to learn everything she had to in order to start building her own apiary, or beeyard. As she began this journey, she was taught by a master beekeeper from the Long Island Beekeepers Club. The education of a beekeeper is a lifelong process and doesn’t end when you get your first hives up and running. The club provides education and resources through lectures and hands-on experience.
Bees are very important to the ecosystem and in recent years we have seen a drastic decline in their population. The reasons for this decline are attributed to mite infestations, pesticide use, and environmental degradation. This can all lead to colony collapse which is when bees abandon their hive leaving the queen and brood (eggs, larvae, and pupae). Bees provide a third of the world’s food production through pollination. Without them, we as humans could face environmental crises which we never have seen before. There has been a significant uptick in recent years in backyard beekeeping to help promote biodiversity.
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