By Janice Mercieri, owner of White Mountain Apiary.
We began our apiary in Littleton, NH in 2011 after years of lamenting “do we or don’t we?” So glad we did. We immersed ourselves in bees, our mentor, and education. We’ve grown from two hives to over sixty hives. The bees teach us something new everyday. Now we share our passion with others.
White Mountain Apiary provides a leadership role in growing public awareness of the importance of supporting pollinators and keeping our environment free of pesticides and safe for bees and people. We’ve worked closely with Littleton Food Coop and The Rocks Estate to garner this public awareness. We’ve taught over 300 new beekeepers in the North Country and provide them with ongoing workshops, equipment, bee colonies, and locally grown queens. We love going out to do programs in the schools.
When people realize that 1/3 of our food is pollinated and the items that would no longer be on the shelves, we get the question on what can they do to help the pollinators. Here are a few ways YOU can #savethebees with us, and be part of a growing global movement!
- Protect the bees on a piece of land you manage, your garden, the backyard of your company or your rooftop! Everyone can do this!
- Do not use any pesticides, fungicides or herbicides on plants or in your garden. Plants get contaminated and the product will likely reach the bees and kill them. Make sure the plants you buy are not pre-treated with neonic pesticides!
- Buy local & raw honey from your local beekeepers. Avoid honey sold in bulk or in the supermarket unless you are sure of its provenance and quality. Always best to buy LOCAL so you can meet your beekeeper and check with him his sustainable beekeeping practices.
- Plant your garden with native and bee friendly plants. They provide great sources of nectar and pollen (both food for the bees and butterflies). It’s important for bees, as it is for us, to have a diverse and regular food supply.
- Avoid planting lawns. Lawns are literally desert for insects and for wild plants because lawns usually never have plants beneficial to bees and are cut too often so plants never get to bloom. Instead, plant prairies!
- Do not weed your garden. Many plants like dandelion, for example, are an excellent source of food for bees. In early spring, those “weeds” are often the only source of food for beneficial insects. Lots of those weeds are often excellent food and medicine for us too!
- Even if you just have a small balcony you can install a little water basin for the bees to drink during the warm day of summer. Put a few stones and floating cork on the water so bees won’t drown!
- Stay connected to the Facebook page of North Country Beekeepers and NH Beekeepers Association so you can stay informed and sign regular petition to pressure our towns, state, and country to pass regulations to help the bees (like the ban of neonicotinoids)
- Educate yourself and your children about bees. Bees are not dangerous; they forage on a flower and don’t attack humans. By better understanding them we will learn to better respect them.
- If the buzz gets to you, learn how to become a beekeeper and install a hive in your garden or on your rooftop. It’s a powerful way to give honey bees a home and probably the best local honey you will ever get!