Honey has a chronological progression that starts from early February to mid-March with the biggest national honey event of the year found in California. You might say, why is honey in California important to my neighborhood? The answer is simple. The commercial beekeeper, coming to California, in the commercial production of honey is directly related to the hobbyist beekeeper in your community and the commercial beekeeper in your community, because the domesticated beehive or the feral bee colony in your neighborhood is responsible for one third of everything we eat. The commercial beekeeper and the honey that he produces is the proving ground for all research, experiments and usually first alerts for disease or Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). These commercial beekeepers are the proving grounds directly helping the remaining national beekeepers to stay in business and to maintain healthy hives. The biggest honey event of the year in the nation, is the California almond pollination season with the arrival of 25 BILLION honeybees. California has this many more honeybees already within the state.
Over one million honeybee hives are used to pollinate the US almond crop that can exceed $1.9 billion this year. Half of these honeybee hives will have to be imported from states as far away as Florida. Finding enough honey hives to pollinate the almond crop becomes more difficult each year. Each year the almond growers plant more almond crops, and the beekeepers have to deal with a barrage of bee diseases such as mites, beetles, foul brood, wax moths and CCD, but the absolute worst is bee rustling. An establish beehive is worth $185 to $225 and the pollination fee is averaging $140 to $150. The bee hive robberies have become epidemic nationwide. Help the beekeeper, if you see strange activity around bee hives at night call 911. Honey production requires that the beehive be stimulated early in the year to increase the number of bees in the hive. For commercial beekeepers this “buildup” of bees for honey gathering is accomplished with the almond pollination season. The honey gathered for this early build up is completely consumed by the newly hatched bees in the hive. Bees need pollen as well as honey to feed the newborn honeybees. The benefit of the honeybees for this pollination event starts with honey bees gathering pollen from an almond flower and depositing the pollen on the next flower to fertilize the seed (almond nut), which in turn gives the tree a signal to build the fruit around the new almond nut.
Next, bee hives are moved to Oregon, Washington, Texas, Kansas and other midwestern states, on up to the Dakotas, Montana, Utah and finally back to Florida or Texas fto pollinate “winter crops”, produce honey and a stay for a warm winter. This pollination migration for other nuts, vegetable and fruit crops such as cabbage, spinach, squash, apples, cherries, apricots, avocados, strawberries, blackberries raspberries, melons, sunflowers, grasses and other crops that produce seeds for next year’s harvest is repeated every year to produce American honey and the bounty of food we require.. After the bees have increased their population in the early spring to adequate numbers to harvest surplus honey, they begin to store more honey than they consume.
Surplus honey is the honey bees will not need to consume to survive the winter. The surplus honey is harvested by the beekeeper. This Honey crop accounts for only 60% of the beekeeper’s annual income. However this is where you come in. By supporting your local beekeeper, you are ensuring that the food that you will need next year will be available. Researchers have found that honey is far more healthier than sugar. Use honey in your cooking recipes, add honey to your dining table and look for healthy honey remedies. You can see that honey is a source of survival in your neighborhood. Support your beekeepers, eat more honey!