On November 17, 2016 about 50 folks attended a “Pollinator Workshop” on the Salem4youth Ranch in Flanagan, IL. Salem was chosen by Bayer as one of four organizations from across the US to receive this honor. In addition to sponsoring the event, Bayer donated enough wildflower seed to sow 5 acres on Salem’s 50 acre campus. Currently Salem has 7 hives and is looking to continue to enhance pollinator forage going forward. Salem is surrounded by row crops so forage is lacking. This effort is designed to provide not only Salem’s bees with additional forage but also provide an “oasis” for the local and migratory pollinator population. Salem4youth is one of Bayer’s “Feed A Bee Partners” in the ongoing effort to provide solid forage for our pollinator population.
Well it’s mid winter. Although I miss seeing our bees working the flowers in the warm breeze and being able to photograph them, now is the time for me to work for them. I have been working toward providing the best forage opportunities for them when they emerge from the hive in a few months. Now is the time to research and obtain wildflower seeds to sow in early spring. I have found a real openness by a variety of seed suppliers and Ag related companies to help provide solid forage options. The photo below is an example of the generosity of multiple seed suppliers through gifts of wildflower seeds. We sowed about an acre and a half last spring (2015) and we are planning on adding another 2 acres this year.