NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Honeybees are important to our country’s agriculture as well as our nation’s food crops.
Since North Dakota’s the number one honey producer in the U.S., honeybees are even more special here.
For this reason, it’s very important to keep them healthy and thriving in our state.
According to beekeep.info, a honeybee colony should be looked at as a “black box,” into which energy — in the form of pollen, nectar, and water — flows and is then converted into products like honey and beeswax.
Anything reducing a beehive’s production is deemed as stress. These stresses include bacteria, fungi, viruses, mites, other insects, spiders, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
At the USDA, scientists are studying honeybee nutrition to find ways to build bee immunity, within a hive.
Steven Cook, from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, said, “One of the starting points in understanding honeybee health and the stresses that they’re exposed to is to conduct very controlled laboratory cage studies where honeybees are exposed to these different stressors.”
Cook says two ways you can minimize bee stress around your ranch and farm are:
1) providing lots of flowers on your land
2) minimizing pesticides by following organic farming practices
If you want to try beekeeping for yourself, check out a step-by-step guide here.