Keep The Bee In Business and Washington in Bloom. You can Help!
Honey bees make it possible for fruit, vegetable and seed crops to add billions of dollars in harvest value to Washington’s economy, nearly $3 billion from tree fruit and berries alone. The bees themselves add nearly $4 billion from honey sales, but their chief value is as pollinators.
Recently, the Honey Bee Work Group set many priorities to the Washington State Legislature to help bees, including:
1) Provide Adequate Forage – Honey bees are flower feeders. They get protein from pollen and carbohydrates from nectar. They need plants for forage from early spring to late fall to have enough food to live on and store for winter. Healthy well fed honey bees are needed to pollinate many crops in Washington, and this requires natural forage. Current State land management practices remove much of this valuable bee forage. Read More…
2) Expand Local Research – More information is needed to monitor and improve health of honey bees in Washington State. Already, Washington Statue University scientists have developed a line of honey bees more suited to surviving in the Pacific Northwest. But their research is limited without appropriate funding. With your help, WSU could become a Pacific Northwest authority on many aspects of honey bee research. Read More…
3) Level The Playing Field for Washington State beekeepers – Washington‘s tree fruit and berry crops depend on honey bees for pollination. Yet there are not enough colonies in the state to pollinate those crops. When in-state beekeepers are at a competitive disadvantage there is little incentive for new beekeepers to get into the business or expand their beekeeping operations. This puts Washington agriculture at risk. Read More…
Ways you can help:
- Provide forage for bees. Bees need nectar and pollen rich plants throughout the growing season. You can help by planting bee-friendly flowers and not spraying them with pesticides. Learn about legislation that seeks to improve access to forage for honey bees and other pollinators in the State.
- Support funding for honey bee research in Washington State. Beekeepers, growers, policy makers and the public all make decisions affecting honey bees. Having access to accurate data affects everyone’s ability to make decisions that support healthy bees and controls costs.
- Learn about the issues facing bees and beekeepers in Washington State. The challenges affect all of us. In December 2014, The Washington Honey Bee Work Group published a comprehensive list of recommendations of ways to help honey bees and beekeepers in the State. Read the full report from the Washington Honey Bee Work Group.