Pollinators are important. We agree.
The Mill hosts beekeeping and gardening classes that often spark pollination conversation! Our crops division has also began to incorporate beekeeping into its annual Mill Crops Showcase. Our agronomists have teamed up with The University of Maryland Carroll County Extension Office to help better understand how/if bees are affected by fertilizers and other tools used in agriculture.
Have you thought of housing mason bees?
If you’re looking to host a pollinator, the mason bee might be just the right match. They pollinate much more than honey bees and can help your lawn and garden flourish. They aren’t aggressive and don’t require much maintenance from humans.
Want to have a honey bee hive or two?
Honey bee hives are quite popular amongst homeowners in this area. The Mill stocks its shelves with bee supplies and hosts classes to help you get started. Some of our products come from, Bayer, who has taken a large initiative to research and care for honeybees.
Looking to attract some butterflies?
The Mill carries a variety of plants that are well-liked by pollinators.
The Mill carries mason bee houses.
Be sure to pick a place in early spring (before flowers emerge).
You can place Mason Bee houses on the ground or on the side of a building. Be mindful of which way the wind typically blows, avoid bird feeding areas and have a source of mud nearby. The season for Mason
Bees only lasts about 2 months. They emerge from their tubes in early spring. They then mate, pollinate and lay eggs for two months. During the summer, the eggs turn into larvae and then adults. Now would be the time to replace the paper tubes to avoid parasites.
When winter approaches, the bees will go into dormancy. You can take them into an unheated location (to keep them dormant) and store the house for the winter. Then it’s time to repeat in the spring.
Here's a general timeline for honey bee care!
January, February, March
Be sure to prepare your hive for the season. Find a good place to put your hive that has plenty of water nearby. When temperatures are above 50, you may see some bees coming out of the hives. They’re on the hunt for early blooming plants.
April & May
Bring in the bees! Installation should occur in April. While flowers are not in bloom, make sure the bees have access to sugar water and any pollen patties.
Now is a good time to test for mites.
You might want to add another hive body to prevent a swarm. You can also begin to harvest honey.
Install your Queen Excluder. Continue harvesting honey.
Now would be a good time to test for mites.
Continue harvesting honey. Remember that the bees will need some to eat in winter. Stop harvesting when the first freeze arrives.
November & December
Don’t open your hives during winter months
Get ready for spring! You may want to pre-order bees for next season.
For additional information, you may want to visit The Maryland State Beekeepers Association.