Bee nice: Locals assist bee rescue campaign

Courtesy photo by Pollinator Partnership Honey bees belonging to Toni Downs, a beekeeper on the hurricane-devastated Caribbean island of St. Croix, gather at the top of their hive to partake in a patty of bee-food supplement, as they rebuild their strength and their numbers after the destruction of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.
Courtesy photo by Pollinator Partnership Toni Downs, left, who is a beekeeper on the island of St. Croix, and Errol Chichester, Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture for St. Croix, rejoice upon opening a box of supplemental bee protein donated by a GoFundMe campaign sponsored by Pollinator Partnership, a worldwide nonprofit devoted to sustaining pollinators – bees, wasps, beetles, bats, birds and other creatures whose efforts are documented as fertilizing one bite in three of the fruits, vegetables, grains and other foods that humans enjoy during meals.
Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Some of the members of the Merrimack Valley Beekeepers Association (MVBA) that voted to add $500, a sum matched by an almond-growing company to equal $1,000, to an online GoFundMe campaign to assist beekeepers and the surviving bees of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands include these bee aficionados, foreground from left, Diane Mattock, a Hollis resident and MVBA treasurer; Deb Tetrault, of Manchester; Kathy Kuhn, of Candia; and Mike Tetrault, of Manchester, seen here with other members, standing from left, Ray Ricard, of Hudson; Louisa Varnum, of Lowell, Mass.; Jim Collins, of Hudson; Isabelle Burke, of Merrimack; John Hamblet, a resident of Lowell, Mass., and MVBA vice-president; Ellen Walker, of Hollis; Alan Lyscars, of Manchester, Ken Kuhn, of Candia; Jeff O'Brien and his wife, Jenelle O'Brien, residents of Goffstown.
Photo by LORETTA JACKSON The MVBA offers monthly meetings held the first Saturday evening of the month at the Hudson Recreation Center where socializing, talks from guest speakers and discussions of upcoming opportunities to perform club activities such as that shown here – a visit to an apiary owned by a fellow beekeeper – are a part of the organization’s attractions, as is an annual bee school presented to share learning in the spring. Info: mvbee.org.
Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Diane Mattock, who with her husband, Mike, operates an apiary of around a dozen hives at their homestead in Hollis, examines one of the wooden frames that inside a beehive acts as a support upon which honey bees build honeycomb – the layer of conjoining six-sided wax cells in which a queen bee will lay some 1,500 eggs per day – and in which worker bees will store water, pollen and around 60 pounds of honey per hive box.
Courtesy photo by Pollinator Partnership A pallet of bee hive components, donated by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm in Moravian Falls, North Carolina, is destined for the bee yards, also known as apiaries, of storm-devastated regions in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The effort is supported by an ongoing GoFundMe campaign initiated by Pollinator Partnership, a worldwide nonprofit dedicated to promoting all kinds of pollinators, including bees, wasps, beetles and other creatures, and to protecting their ecosystems.
Courtesy photo by Pollinator Partnership The naked landscape of post-hurricane Puerto Rico demonstrates the devastation that left no forage for the island’s honey bees, creatures that depend upon the pollen of flowers, grasses and trees to continue their mission of fertilizing plant-to-plant and producing cherished hive products that include honey and beeswax.
Courtesy photo by Pollinator Partnership The effort to re-hive the islands’ displaced bees, many of which inadvertently found unwelcomed shelter in structures that included private homes, stores and other buildings spared from the storms, was helped by donations of equipment such as this pallet of wooden hive components donated by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, of Moravian Falls, North Carolina, whose employees added notes of encouragement and a stenciled heart shape.
Courtesy photo by Pollinator Partnership Bee rescue volunteers, from left, Aixa Ramirez, left, Maria Aponte and Ivette Vila re-package a shipment of pollen patties, nutritious supplements that are helping to feed the honey bees until the growing season provides more natural food from flowers and other plants.
Courtesy photo by Pollinator Partnership Cesar Ramirez, of the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture, picks up 1,000 pounds of bee protein that will be a much appreciated food supplement, transported to the island by way of a flight sponsored by the Humane Society.

Members of the Merrimack Valley Beekeeping Association, a group of around 100 beekeeping enthusiasts from Nashua, Merrimack and Manchester, along with many other towns, already have been thanked by the originator of a save-the-bees campaign designed to help apiculture in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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