As a teenager, I passed by Mr. Garrett's house every day on my way home from school. I stopped on a few occasions to buy honey for my mom, but it never occurred to me that there was an interesting process behind the maple syrup jars of honey that I carried home.

A beautiful Spring day. I decided to visit Mr. Garrett to purchase a jar of honey but also to see if he would be willing to share his knowledge about beekeeping. Mr. Garrett has been beekeeping for over 20 years now.

"Bees travel at a 5 mile radius around home," He told me when I first arrived. Which means his bees have likely crossed through my own yard, pollinating the field of clover flowers near my house and my father's gardens of watermelon and sunflowers.

"They've been around since near the beginning of time," Mr. Garrett said as I followed him toward one of his beehives. "Even the bible speaks of a land of milk and honey."
"A third of the world's food for humans depend on Bees. Animals depend on them too. So if we lose bees, we could be in trouble."
"I have 78 beehives and every year I lose a colony or two. I know another farmer in Red Springs who lost 30 hives last year."
What is causing the decline in bees?
Pesticides are one of the main reasons. The chemicals are sprayed on plants and causes the bees to get disoriented and they can't find their way back to the hive. Mites and moths can get into the hives and kill them."

What can we do to help?

Plant bee-friendly flowers around your home.

Don’t use pesticides to treat your lawn or garden.

Support local beekeepers. Buy local, raw or pure honey.

Buy local, organic food.

Learn how to be a beekeeper.

Mr. Garrett often meets with school kids to educate them about the importance of bees.


"Sunflowers" image by peter.more

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