Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Harvest

The United States and Canada celebrate the harvest with a day for giving thanks and for reflection. The Thanksgiving Day tradition dates to the English settlement, Plymouth Colony, in 1621 in what is now Massachusetts. Thanksgiving Day meals are shared with family and friends. As we prepare the meal, we see that the bounty of the harvest can be attributed in large part to the pollination of flowering food plants by honey bees. Apples would not exist without pollination by bees. Plump, well-shaped cucumbers and pie pumpkins are also the result of effective bee pollination of the cucumber and pumpkin blooms. Even the onions and garlic are produced by seed resulting from the bee’s work. As we reflect on what it took to bring a special meal to the table, we see that honey bees and other pollinators had a role in producing most of the foods. Without the bees, only breads made from wind-pollinated wheat or grasses like rice, oats, corn, and rye would be on the table today.

I am thankful that Peace Bee Farm is able to carry on our family farm tradition established in 1950. It could not be done without the skills, enthusiasm, and efforts of the entire family. I am most thankful that there exists a creature like the honey bee that fits into the natural world so well that it actually produces food for mankind, animals, and wildlife as well. I am especially thankful that my beekeeping experience brings me in contact with some wonderful people from around Arkansas, Tennessee, and around the world: Sherri, Barry, Rick, Kyle, Dallas, Joel, Agnes, Mary, Cissy, Dena, Bob, Ken, Robert, Big Dan, Shirley, Mike, Charles, Nick, Amy, Keith, Jill, Uele, Carolyn, Vickie, Karen, Jonathan, Brandon, Amanda, Ngaio, Lynn, Micah, Jerry, Candice, Tammy, Judith, Kevin, Pratima, Randolph, Jim, Ray, Dick, Danny, Petra, Ken, Shirley, John, Ed, Melissa, Kjeld, Joann, and Margie. I am also most grateful to have you readers around the world to share my observations.

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