Bees are responsible for all life above sea level. Bees alone are accountable for pollinating nearly one-third of everything we eat. The government has waited far too long to get involved in this manner; therefore Chester has decided to step in to make a difference.
From all the funds raised, one-third will go towards the National Native Pollinator Migratory Route, a National Park for Bees. This will allow them to move bees around the nation as needed, during different seasons and when crops are harvested.
Why did they choose the route from Lake Erie to the Gulf of Mexico? Bees need 3 things in order to survive: food, shelter, and water. The North East part of the country has a very strong bee presence with nearly 80% of all existing bees living in the area. Chester’s goal is to move the bees to where they currently are to where they are not in the country. The bee’s journey starts down the waterways of the French Creek, Allegheny, Ohio and Mississippi River, where they will have food, shelter, and agriculture all along the path. From then on they will cross the Mason Dixon line to Colorado River from Canada down. Funds from this Kickstarter Campaign will be used to start this route across the country. Chester’s end goal is to put bee routes all around the world.
How It Works:
Some native bees seek habitat in standing deadwood and are actually drawn to deadwood timber by the scent of the CO2 which its decomposing fibers exude. Some of the prior patents have attempted to formulate bee habitats from treated wood and/or paper or non-wood materials. Native bees will not, typically be attracted to such habitats and, hence, efforts to foster propagation of native bees using these manmade materials have proven to be largely ineffective. A queen bee will typically lay between 60 and 60,000 eggs during her three year life span. The queen will typically find a hole of suitable depth formed in a standing dead tree which has been pecked by woodpecker or other bird. She lays a single egg in the cavity and covers it over. The bee will hatch, typically in about 20 days.
In addition to being attracted to standing deadwood, native bees are attracted by brightly colored objects, normally in connection with their pursuit of nectar, but the present invention proposes to lure the native bees to the bee propagation pole by decorating the pole with four ribbons, one each of the primary colors, blue, red and yellow and including white.
Solitary bees, having no hive or territory to protect, are not prone to the aggressive behavior of honey bees nor are they capable of the multiple stings for which some bees/wasps are known. Different species of bees seek out/prefer different sized holes in the standing deadwood and, accordingly, the bee propagation pole of the present invention offers a variety of (seven or more) diameter habitats. Native bees will start working in weather which is up to 5° colder than honey bees will, and will work in overcast conditions and high humidity, honey bees being often discouraged by such weather conditions. An additional benefit is that the presence of native bees in the honey bees' collection zone cause them to work, up to five times as hard in seeking nectar and, hence, in pollinating the plants. Certain species of bees even hatch out in late winter and are therefore, available to begin pollination of the earliest of spring crops.
The bee propagation pole of the present invention comprises a) a length of untreated deadwood timber having a flattened face on a portion of that length; b) a first group of holes having a first diameter to foster propagation of a first type of solitary bee; c) at least one additional group of holes having a second larger diameter to foster propagation of a second type of solitary bee. The length of untreated deadwood timber may have an above ground length falling in a range of between 3 and 9 feet and a diameter of between 2″ and 6″. All but one of the first group of holes is drilled to a uniform first depth, with that one first hole being drilled deeper to foster growth of a queen bee of the first type of solitary bee. Hole depth of 0.5″ will produce a worker bee and a depth of 0.75″ will result in a queen bee. Similarly, all but one of the second group of holes is drilled to a uniform second depth, with the one second hole being drilled deeper to foster growth of a queen bee of the second type of solitary bee. Preferably, a plurality of ribbons are suspended from the bee pole, the ribbons having colors designed to attract solitary bees, the plurality most preferably including at least four, one of each of the primary colors red, blue and yellow and white.
Risks and challenges
The only way it can fail, is if people do nothing.
Chester has the most practical experience dealing with bees and has covered the research early on in his career. His experience from teaching at high school and college levels to being personally sent by the USDA to deal with bee crises around the country. Personally, Chester has established 400 acres bee facility in Sherman, NY, which is the first Native Bee Pollinator Preserve. His patent for the Bee Pole and passion for agriculture will lead the charge in saving the bees.
The Bee Pole + Talk:
You will receive a Bee Pole to be used in your yard, as well as a face-to-face via Skype for a 30-minute conversation with Chester Lee, the inventor and master gardener behind the Bee Pole. You can pick his brain in gardening and any other bee related question.