Plymouth Township Council has proposed banning Honey Bees on 92% of residential properties in our township, without an environmental impact study or any concern about our gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes, and our birds.
They are telling us that only large land owners have the right to have these essential pollinators in their neighborhoods. Why? Because a few vocal neighbors of one backyard beekeeper claimed to be allergic to bee stings and are pushing the ban for the majority of homeowners in the township.
Here are the facts that they are ignoring:
Honey Bees are gentle bees that rarely sting. Honey Bees die if they sting you, so they are genetically predisposed not to. They will only sting if crushed or if you disturb their hive.
They are not like Yellow Jackets or Wasps. They are vegetarians. Unlike aggressive Yellow Jackets who are carnivorous wasps, who bother us at picnics, Honey Bees spend their time pollinating our gardens and flowers. Most people cannot differentiate between a Honey Bee and a Yellow Jacket, Wasp, or ground Bees. Honey Bees live in trees or hives, not in the ground. Honey Bees are gentle, sweet creatures that you can actually pet on a flower petal.
Honey Bees have been disappearing. There are 50% fewer hives than there were in 1983 in Pennsylvania, and our fruit trees and gardens have suffered from it. Talk to the neighbor of a beekeeper and they will tell you of how their gardens and trees produce a much more abundant crop, since the bees moved into the neighborhood.
Honey Bees are essential to our local environment. A number of crops are almost totally (90%-100%) dependent on honey bee pollination, including apples, blueberries, cherries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, onions, pumpkins, squash, and more. There are many other crops that rely on adequate pollination by honey bees because of their dependable nature, such as peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, grapes, brambleberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, and sugar beets.
Nature abhors a vacuum. If the Honey Bees go away, more aggressive species may fill the void. Backyard beekeeping should be encouraged, not restricted, in Plymouth Township. Every time you see a honey bee, you know there is a beekeeper nearby. Honey Bees spread out as they fly.
When Honey Bees leave the hive they do not congregate on our property, nor on our neighbor’s property, but fly out over the neighborhood, and up to 2-3 miles collecting pollen and nectar. The Bees of your neighborhood backyard beekeeper pollinate your gardens, fruit trees and berry bushes. They also pollinate flowers, whose seeds feed our birds. Without Honey Bees, we would not have the abundant gardens, fruits and flowers that we enjoy. Native pollinators are important too, but we grow many non native fruits and vegetables, that depend on Honey Bees for pollination.
If you like an abundant garden, fruit trees and berry bushes with wonderful yields, and song birds that feed on flower seeds that are pollinated by honey bees, then tell your local councilman now. Tell them not to ban and unduly restrict honey bees, but instead use the PA Dept of Agriculture’s Beekeeper Compliance Agreement
More of what you need to know is at: SaveOurGardens.org
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