Beekeeping in Guam

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My husband has recently taken up beekeeping.  He’s teaching our daughters, and we’re all benefitting from his latest passion.  We don’t have honey just yet, but we have fresh passionfruit, calamansi, Meyer lemons, soursop, tomatoes, and several other fruits and flowers growing in our yard that we hope will benefit from our beehives.  Since honey bees can roam well over a mile outside of their home base for pollen, our colonies are also benefiting our local community.

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At first, I was a little worried about someone getting stung, but fortunately, the honey bee is not an aggressive species.  We keep them in a corner of our front yard, and even though we’re out there everyday, no one has been stung yet.  My husband often inspects the hives closely without his beekeeping suit, and our big dog runs around the hives without ever seeming to disturb the bees in the least.  It’s interesting to watch the bees returning to the hive throughout the day covered in various brightly colored pollens.

Guam is an interesting place to take up beekeeping.  Without winter, the bees are able to remain active throughout the year.  As a small island bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea, you might think that bees are difficult to obtain.  However, we’ve been very fortunate that the local beekeeping community have been hugely supportive in sharing their knowledge and their bees to help get us started. Chris Rosario, the President of the Guam Beekeepers Association, is doing some cutting edge research at the University of Guam on the local bee population, its predators, and the unique environmental factors that help our bees thrive.  We’re very grateful for his help in getting our hives started.  Guam is even making a name for itself in the local honey it produces.

Bees are one of the most essential parts of our ecosystem.  Without bees, many plant and animal species would be threatened, which would mean the food and many of the medicines upon which we rely would be threatened as well.  Sadly, the bee population is dramatically declining throughout the United States and most parts of the world.  We’re enjoying our bees and playing our small role in helping our planet.

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