Exploring honey bees and native bees with Angela Rodríguez Díaz

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Today we had beekeeper Angela Rodriguez Diaz at the station in person! It was wonderful!

We had a lively conversation about honeybees and the importance of native bees in our environment.
First we had a call from Kim Christine, the director of Community Health and Wellness for the Tampa General Hospital.
They have begun a program on preventive programs for better health and address social factors that impact at risk residents.
This new way of looking at helping BEFORE one gets ill can really make a huge difference.
For more information:    https:// www.TGH.org/TampaWell.
Angela Rodriguez Diaz has always been in tune with nature, being raised in the town of Corozal, within the mountains of Puerto Rico, taught her to respect all living things. Her time with the U.S. Army also fortified her connection.
Angela was first introduced to honeybees and the keeping of them while visiting a beekeeper friend. She was so enamored that after her visit she goggled all the “buzz” words he used and became fully engaged. She took many classes and is a registered beekeeper and also qualified to rescue wild swarms from personal properties. She continues to keep updating with lifelong learning. She is a volunteer mentor at the apiary at USF Gardens and an active member of Tampa Bay Beekeepers Association. She is also the owner/operator of Wild Rican Honey.
Angela is currently a backyard beekeeper and due to her physical limitations as a disabled veteran, she has designed horizontal bee boxes. The honey filled boxes can weigh 50 lbs so to avoid lifting the stacking boxes you can open the single layer from the top. this allows for harvest of the honey and access to care for your bees health. She is also involved with “Hives for Heroes” which is a group that helps put veterans in contact with the beekeeping industry. Helping them create jobs, empowering veterans and helping with PTSD by being in the calming environment of the bees. Beekeeping therapy.
The U.S. has taught beekeeping to Vets since World War 1. Just goes to show how the brain benefits from watching and being in nature.
For more information visit HivesForHeros.com and extension.missouri.edu to learn about the first State Chapter of Heroes to Hives Beekeeping program.
We also talked about native bees and how important it is for us to help them in our home environment. Letting go of pesticides, herbicides and planting native pollinating plants is always a good start. Also keeping leaves, sticks and what we might have considered debris is actually habitat for native bees. They are generally solitary and need undisturbed nesting grounds. You can create the bee housing with bamboo, reeds etc. Make sure and wait to clean the only in the fall. Don’t want to disturb the growing bee babies. Consider making your yard a Wildlife Habitat.
Together we can do better for our living planet. We CAN do it, if we try.