One of the largest industrial honey suppliers in the country, Honey Holding operates out of Baytown, Texas, and produces approximately 20 million pounds of honey annually. Honey Holding makes honey quality a high priority, which requires careful attention to the care of the honeybees that create it. The following are suggestions for the care of honeybees.
1. Plant bee-friendly plants. Favorites include fruit- and flower-bearing plants, such as fruit trees and bushes, lavender, and buddleia.
2. Avoid pesticides, as they can kill bees and other desirable garden creatures.
3. Allow propolis production. Bees use propolis for a wide variety of purposes: it mummifies invading insects that enter the hive, serves as an antibacterial agent, and helps keep the hive clean. It also offers a number of health benefits to humans.
4. Honey is the natural winter food source for bees, so make sure to leave behind enough of it for the hive to sustain itself during the winter months. You can also harvest honey in the spring rather than the fall to allow them to produce enough.
5. Ventilate hives for winter. Bees cluster together to keep warm, and clusters can easily reach 92 degrees Fahrenheit, which creates condensation when it meets cold. Improper ventilation can cause the condensation to leak into the hive and make bees wet, and even freeze them. To properly ventilate the hive, use porous wood that absorbs moisture or create a small ventilation slit on the side of the hive.
6. Stay vigilant about diseases. There are a number of bacterial and fungal diseases that pose a risk to the bee colony. Know the signs of each and take steps to prevent them. Also keep watch for signs of pests such as mites and wax moths, which pose a risk to the colony’s health by feeding on baby bees and adult bees.