The learning curve for beekeeping is steep. How do you make sure your bees are healthy and happy--and that they don’t sting you? Devra Kitterman, pollinator program coordinator for the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council, tells us about their beginning beekeeper course--and her work as a swarm catcher. And managing director Wes Jamison tells us what else you can do on the 150-acre farm park --from hiking and sunflower picking to learning how to back up a horse trailer.
Devra recommends these trees:
Ilex Opaca (American Holly): evergreen, critical forage for pollinators, also food and cover for birds. The best dwarf form is Ilex Opaca ‘Maryland Spreader’ that grows in an undulating horizontal form. Most hollies are excellent.
Tilia Americana (American Linden, Basswood): an excellent street tree, incredible fragrant bloom
Tilia cordata (Little Leaf linden): excellent street tree, important forage tree
Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust): good for edge of larger properties
Liriodendron tulipfera (Tulip Poplar): very large tree
Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple): critical early forage, large tree
Evodia danielii (Tetradium Danielii) (Bee Bee Tree): considered invasive, critical and best late forage tree
As well as these shrubs and perennials:
Hydrangea paniculata (Pee Gee Hydrangea): full sun, bumblebees love it, so do deer
Hydrangea Quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea): part shade, a honeybee favorite
Hydrangea arborescens (Annabelle Rose): part shade, honeybees prefer the rose color better than white
Asclepias (Milkweed): tuberosa, incarnata, syriaca, critically important, use them all
Agastache (Hyssop): Black Adder, Blue Fortune; many cultivars, 21 native to N America, very important Pycnanthemum (Mountain Mint): esp. Hoary Mountain Mint