WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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understood but experts believe both pesti- cides and pathogens contribute. Drought and severe winter weather are other stressors. Suburbanization robs honey bees of the var- ied forage they seek and many plants they prefer like clover, dandelion, and asters. Experts also believe moving colonies long distances and clustering them in unnaturally large groups for commercial pollination cre- ates too much competition and exposure for their immune systems. Land's Sake Executive Director Ed Barker notes honey bees are "absolutely critical" to the success of flowering crops like melon, tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. "Bees won't go any farther than they have to, so our crop rotation means they have flowering plants at their disposal throughout the sea- son." Bees that don't have long distances to travel produce more honey. Land's Sake hives are included in educa- tional tours for children from Weston's ele- mentary schools and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. "We introduce bees as a really important piece of the overall equation. We describe the threats to them and why organic gardening is important," says Barker. Hives at Land's Sake are maintained by Boston Honey Company of Holliston, Mass., and their honey, candles, and skin care prod- ucts are sold at the farm stand. The largest bee research program in New England operates at Wellesley College in the Department of Biological Sciences. Assistant 125 s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e 120-126_WWMa14_Bee Keepers_v2_WellesleyWeston Magazine 2/2/14 12:24 PM Page 125

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