Improving Vegetation with Bees
When we began bee keeping in Salina, our first goal lied with how to capture bees. Our second goal was that of a bear's, to achieve honey. Little did we know of the tedious mechanics that goes into maintenance and care. However, during the first couple of months of beeing, we've noticed plants seemed brighter and vigorous, especially plants surrounding the hive. Through time and space, the bees tripled in number and weight during the autumn season and we've noticed capped honey in all frames, including their roof. We did not harvest honey the first year and if you're starting out a hive, you probably shouldn't too. At least not until the second year.
In our second year, we obtained five additional bee hives and planted four near our first hive and one up in Spider Rock. All are doing a fantastic job and are fully loaded with honey, but it strikes my curiosity.
Can I measure the enhanced greenness in the surrounding vegetation? The simple answer is yes.
To achieve this, I wanted to use the most recent satellite images captured of this particular location and subtract the images to see the difference. However, the most recent image captured was July 2019. So I'll wait couple of months before I can do any mapping with NAIP imagery.
Until then, I used Climate Engine, a solid mapping website free to everyone who are also curious on vegetation, water, and all things on the surface. Climate Engine is by far the best mapping software you can find.
I zoomed to the hive locations and ran the Climate Engine Tool within a half mile radius of these hives. worker bees can travel 2 miles for pollen and 3 miles for water with ease. To keep things simple, I ran the dataset at a close range, because I notice the increasing seasonal greenness every time I check up on them.
Sorry for the blurriness, but you can see in this resulting graph generated from Climate Engine Software. The red line represents the precipitation data from the entire record dataset collected since 1980. We did experience a 15-year flood this monsoon season and the redline depicts just that. The yellow/green bar graph represents the frail/vigorous vegetation present. Notice our first hive in 2019, they slowly worked their way around the area and this year with 5 hives added. You can see they doubled the greenness!
I am excited to see next years' resulting graph and even more excited to assist with their production. Bee sure to open up a soda for the little ones and they'll return the favor the best way they can. Afterall, we can only help the help.
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