Beekeepers from around Walker County are ramping up for the coming spring.
When temperatures warm up in March and April, flowers, grasses, and other plants begin flowering. Honey bees and other pollinators go into a feeding frenzy. Beekeepers call this time of year the nectar flow.
Honey bees have gotten a great deal of press worldwide because they are one of the most essential creatures in existence. Honey bees and other creatures pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Humans can thank bees for about one out of every three bites of food we take, according to the USDA.
A healthy beehive can have between 20,000 and 50,000 bees during late spring and early summer.
Bee pollination is responsible for more than $15 billion in increased crop value each year.
Beekeeping is not for everyone, because it takes work, study, and it can be an expensive hobby. But homeowners can help without owning hives. The benefit for them is they are helping save bees and making their property beautiful, according to Ricky Grace, who is president of the Walker County Beekeepers Association.
“Bees love clover, fruit trees, vegetables, and about any kind of flower,” he said.
Anyone who wants to learn more about honey bees can attend one of the Walker County Beekeeper meetings, which are on the fourth Monday evening starting at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held at the Extension Center on Airport Road in Jasper.