Jim Ford is doing big things around a small town. Located in Memphis, Michigan, Jim does everything from make cakes, starting a travelling coffee shop, teaching wild-life survival, making a real-life Dr. Who time machine (shout out to all Whovians out there), and teaching people about bee-keeping.
While all his endeavours are equally intriguing, we are going to be focusing on the BEES today, because well they are awesome.
Jim has spent the last couple years running an educational program at a local community college where he teaches people the importance of bees, how to manage their bees right in order to collect the most honey and respect nature, and bringing the community together from different ages/backgrounds. All are welcome in his club…aww 🙂
Why Do You Care About Bees Anyways?
Bees are an important part of our environment and food system. First off, they are pollinators (see below for description on what those things do). Secondly bees can be found in many different areas including; tropical forests, savannah woodlands, mangrove, and in temperate deciduous forests- I don’t even know exactly what all of these things are, but I do know that is wide land coverage by these guys- good job bees.
A lot of our food depends on the bees and their other pollinator friends. If you like almonds, citrus fruits, cucumbers, apples, cherries, blackberries, pears, pumpkins (hello Halloween), cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, melons, tomatoes, soybeans (preferably non-GMO), and sunflowers, then you like BEES. All of these food plants depend on the bees and other pollinators to reproduce.
What is a Pollinator?
A pollinator is any animal that moves pollen from one flower to another, fertilizing plants and allowing them to REPRODUCE. Pollinators include bees, insects, and birds, as well as many other species. Approximately 30% of the food crops grown throughout the world depend on pollinators for reproduction.
Other pollinators such as bats and birds play a greater role in plant pollination in high mountain rain forests, where it is too cold for most bees.
How You Can Help
Consume Responsibly: Like almost everything, we should be consuming responsible amounts of the resources we are using. Bees make honey to feed themselves. It is a luxury for people to be able to consume so we should treat it as such. Don’t over consume honey and leave the bees malnourished and working solely to feed us humans.
If you want to get involved in starting your own bee hives, Jim recommends joining a local bee club, getting in touch with someone who has bees in your area and learning from them, doing online research, and watching YouTube videos (who doesn’t love doing this?). If this is something you are interested in, alls you have to do is start looking around your local community and asking questions- trust me there are bees EVERYWHERE.
If tending bees isn’t really your thing, you can still support them by buying REAL local honey. Go to farmers markets, find the local bee keepers in your area, etc. I will be doing a post on the difference between real honey and the mass produced sugar syrup other companies try to pass off as honey. There are major benefits for us people, our health, our communities, and the environment by buying local, real honey. And it tastes waaaayyyyyy better. That’s a win, win, win.
Go out there and have a wonderful day and Bee fantastic by loving yourself, nature, and of course the bees :).