about our bees

Why are honey bees so important?

Of the world’s 115 most important food crops, 87 require pollination to produce fruits, nuts and seeds. They account for a third of the $3 trillion worth of agricultural produce sold each year.  These crops provide 35% of the calories we consume yearly and most of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Seven of the nine crops that provide at least half the vitamin C to the human diet depend on insect pollination. They include oranges, cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, melons, tangerines and watermelons.  Five major fruit crops (apple, almond, avocado, blueberry and cranberry) are reliant on insect pollination.So there is definitely more to bees than just honey.

Nationally honey bee colony losses average 30-35% due to increased problems beekeepers face with pests such as the varroa mite and the viruses they vector, decreased available forage/nutrition, and pesticide use

At Burtz Bees we responsibly harvest honey from our hives & manage our colonies using best management practices including integrated pest management techniques. Many of our bee ards (apiarys) are located in suburban settings with neighborhoods in close proximity.  We find these areas often provide some of the best honey due to the sheer diversity of flowering plants available. However, these areas do pose some added risk.  We can all do our part to help by planting flowers, herbs, shrubs, & trees that are attractive to pollinators including honeybees. Also limiting herbicide uses on lawns, let those yard weeds grow. Bees and other pollinators depend on early season weeds such as dandelions, nettle, & henbit that are typically found in lawns and fields.  Eliminating yard spraying for weeds to allow for growth of functional greenspaces rather than just aesthetically pleasing fescue lawns that offer nothing for pollinator.  Cutting back on the use of insecticides is something responsible homeowners can do.  Read the label and only apply per the labelled instructions and never apply to flowering plants.  Apply late evening or early morning such that they have a chance to dry prior to pollinators being out and about in your lawn/garden.  If total yard treatments are used for pests such as fire ants, utilize granular products rather than powder or liquids as granular products pose less threat to pollinators.  If you would like to support our stewardship efforts you may donate to help sponsor a hive so that are buzzing friends can continue to do their pollinating efforts.