Bee Keeping has become a popular activity in the past couple years. Two Lancaster county organizations are making a push to help grow the interest in bee keeping. The York County Beekeepers society and the Lancaster County Beekeepers Society (LCBS) are organizations that are harvesting their own honey and teaching the public about the importance of beekeeping.
By Matthew Sperow
Photo By Matt Sperow
LCBS “The objectives of the Lancaster County Beekeepers Society are to gain a better understanding of honeybee biology and behavior, provide public awareness and services, and to promote honey and other products of the hive.”. Founded in March of 1876 the society is currently run by president Matthew Libhart. For 141 consecutive years running the society plans on growing more every year and help save the bee population.
YCBA This nonprofit association is voluntary beekeepers and non beekeepers who are interested in making there own honey, bee products and pollination. YCBA wants to increase Lancaster County about the importance of honey bee’s and to promote responsible beekeeping. PresidentCoral Still-Glosser supplies the public with all of the basic knowledge needed for beekeeping. They also set you up with your own starter beekeeping set up for a charge and supply mentoring for those in need.
YEARLY STATS 2016 almost hits the all time high since 2011 These are the only drastic declines we have seen. prior years were not effected 2017 numbers are projected to be over 45%. Beekeeping in Lancaster county is helping grow the honey bee population and provide sustainable ways to collect honey from the hives. Keeping bees is an ongoing learning experience that does not ever end. They also accept anyone from beginner level to an experienced level. Signing up gives you the package option to receive a freshly painted hive and a package of bees. Keeping bees allows a green and sustainable way to protect the population of bees. The population has fallen 44 percent since 2010.The York County Beekeeping Association (YCBA) provides pollination services for Lancaster County orchards and farms to give them an authentic and natural pollination process instead of using sprays to help plants. The YCBA also supplies a mentorship program to get people involved with bee keeping so they can start their own hive and produce their own honey. Volunteers go out to public events like the PA Garden Show, Herb Festival, Codorus Blast, York fair, and even local schools to help spread the awareness of honey bees.
(Photo By Matt Sperow)
The YCBA and LCBS strongly encourage people to also not spray bees with bee killer or any other products to control bees. Instead you can call them if you see a sworn in your yard or a park and they will take the bees in a sustainable way and relocate them to their own bee hives that they have already. They provide a list of club members in a 10-mile radius willing to come and assist you with the bee swarm at https://www.ycbk.org/images/docs/YCBA_SWARM_COLLECTORS.pdf.
Another sustainable way to prevent the bee population from crashing is to plant perennial flowers that grow back year by year to allow all bees the pollen they need to live a healthy lifestyle. Also, it is recommended that you leave dandelions alone instead of treating them like weeds dandelions avoid all weed control sprays this can damage a bee’s life with deadly chemicals. All you have to do is join through the websites given to start helping out with bees in Lancaster for if something is not done bees will continue to die off leading us to a dark path of no flowers or natural honey.
Photo by Matt Sperow
Plants that my mom planted over the summer in our garden. Planting flowers especially perennials supply great resources for bee’s. The garden also feature small amounts of water sitting out the water is also very beneficial to the bees health. Plants are not sprayed with any sort of chemicals to make them grow so the bees have a healthy pollen to collect.