All Abuzz over Bees

bumble bee in a yellow flowerAt Chuck Hurd's 129-acre farm near Harrington, the bees are so numerous there's a traffic jam on his orange squash blossoms.

The insects glom onto the yellow flowers of the partridge pea, the Queen Anne's Lace and the black-eyed susans.

The decline in bee populations seen throughout Delaware and much of the nation is not in evidence here, where they busily pollinate his melons, pumpkins and other crops.

Hurd provides his bees a pollinator meadow -- full of woody stemmed plants like blackberries -- so they have a place to lay their eggs. He minimizes the use of pesticides and fungicides, attracting solitary native bees that don't typically form colonies.

Several of his honey bee hives -- non-native species that live in colonies -- are busy in Milton, pollinating a crop of lima beans.

Despite hordes of happy bees, Hurd didn't think he was doing anything special.

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