|Virginia & Carl Webb Examining Hive|
“Honeybees are intimately related to agriculture,” explains Virginia Webb. “Two-thirds of our fruits and vegetables are pollinated directly by beneficial pollinators, and more specifically the honeybee, that’s why it’s so important.”
When I visited the Webb family’s North Georgia farm in May, Virginia had just returned from a visit to Guyana, in South America. “I’ve been fortunate to work with the US Department of Agriculture, USAID (US Agency for International Development) specifically, in the Farmer to Farmer exchange program where I’m traveling to other countries teaching beekeeping.” Farmers in Guyana are learning the importance of beekeeping’s symbiotic relationship with cash crops like melons and lettuce. She has also taught beekeeping to farmers in the impoverished island nation of Haiti.
|Bumblebee in My Yard|
|Beehives at Edge of UT Organic Farm|
Virginia and her husband, Carl, avoid using fungicides, insecticides or pesticides in their gardening areas or beehives. The more natural approach seems to benefit the entire ecosystem. Virginia says, “If you’re using pesticides incorrectly in your garden, then you’re going to kill the beneficial pollinators. You’re also going to lessen the yield and the quality of the food that you get within your garden itself. I know that we need to use pesticides on some occasions, but they need to be used in a proper manner. Read the label, and it tells you the proper time of using the pesticides in your garden.”
|Collecting Pollen from Hive|
|Frame Full of Honey|