HEBER-OVERGAARD, AZ, If you’ve noticed white rectangular cubicle pallets while out on the Black Mesa Ranger District, they contain European honey bees, an important pollinating species, and will be present on the forest from July to approximately late September. For the second year in a row Apis Inc. Pollination Services has a special use permit on the district.
Worldwide, there are over 300,000 species of bees including wasps, hornets, sweat bees, etc. Only seven species produce honey. APIS Inc. cultivates only one of those seven honey producing species, Apis Meliferra which is the most prolific honey producing bee. It is the one that we know as the “honey bee.”
In a document from Apis they state, “We are experts in bee keeping and nurture only the European strain of the common honey bee. Our hives are monitored closely and we do not permit ‘Africanized or Killer Bees’ to take up residence in our hive boxes.”
Apis, Inc. is a commercial pollination company which provides pollination services to food crop producers and do not commercially harvest pollen or honey. The service they provide has a direct effect upon food supplies. In order to maintain a healthy colony, the bees need a break from the Valley heat – some R & R between the spring and fall crops.
They take this R&R time to do the following with the bee colonies:
- Boost the strength of the colonies
- Medicate the bees (if needed)
- Fix any problems that may exist in the bee hives
Bees benefit the National Forest with an increase of wildflower pollination which in turn increases the diversity and health of forest flora over time. Pollination increases the quality and quantity of the seeds produced by the flowers.
And that my friends, is a beautiful thing.