We are very proud of our bees at Rock Hill. They do their job of pollinating all the fruits and vegetables and in return, they give us beautiful raw honey to sell in our store.
Honey bees pollinate fruit, transferring pollen grains from the site where they are produced (the “anther”) to the site where they germinate (the “stigma”). Honey bees are unique pollinators because, unlike many other pollinators, honey bees actually want the pollen—not just the nectar—so they can give their developing larvae a protein boost. Pollen sticks to the bees’ fuzzy bodies, and when they rub some of it off, it pollinates flowers.
With the popularity of documentaries like Queen of the Sun and Vanishing of the Bees, many people, including us, have become concerned about the falling honey bee populations. There are many things that everyone can do to help keep honey bees safe. Be careful about spraying pesticides in your garden—especially on or near clover and dandelions, and even more so if you see honey bees working.
At Rock Hill Orchard, we take several measures to ensure that we protect our bees, from spraying when the bees aren't out, to selecting sprays which minimize dangers to bees. We truly understand that without bees, we won't have anything to sell. In the wintertime, our bees are fed a sugar-water mixture to ensure that they are healthy when they can't leave the hive.
Next time you visit the dairy, look to the north and you will see the bee hives. We do ask that you look from a distance as we like our bees to be friendly. If one lands on you in the orchard, please carefully push it off, as honeybees won't sting unless they are provoked.