RESTORATION PROJECT 2019

FARMING FOR POLLINATORS AT B SWEET HONEY NATURE CO.

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Over the course of many years we will slowly transform non native grassed fields filled with invasive species to a more productive, natural and pollinator friendly setting.

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Setting the stage is paramount. Stage one will be to solarize the sites for at least 6 weeks. We will be using a dark landscape fabric that is reusable since we did not want to have massive amounts of plastic finding its way to the dump. We want to choose the softest impact on the land.

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As we are prepping the land for our pollinators, we became Bee City certified. This is about, all of us, learning to live in harmony with all our animal pollinators. Farming need not be adversarial to the health and well being of our wildlife.

While we waited for the solarization process to complete and the weather to change, we planted fruit trees. Our early flowering fruit trees are the target of orchard bees. It takes 250 honeybees to do the same pollination as 1 orchard bee for fruit trees. Orchard bees are far more efficient at pollinating our early spring crops and fly at slightly colder temperatures than honeybees, giving them a slight flight advantage.

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We have now added permanent bee boxes for native bees throughout the property. These blue ones are for mason bees. We have these boxes positioned close to early blooming crops such as our many fruit trees and early blooming native shrubs such as the cherries, redbuds and serviceberries.

Finally, we have pealed off the fabric and worked the land as weed seeds germinated.

A trick is to broadcast your seeds just prior to a rain. In this way, the seed are soaked into the ground and birds do not feast on them.

Now it is just sunshine, rain and time. The most critical factor will be watering as the seeds germinate.