Golf Course Management

APR 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Paul Sheppard displays one of the 20 beehives in the apiary he maintains just 40 yards off the fourth fairway at St. Lucia GC in the British Virgin Islands. Photos courtesy of Paul Sheppard "For too long, golf has suffered from the stigma of catering only to the elite and leaving a negative footprint on the environment." —Greg Norman 46 GCM April 2013 Superintendents want to know if an environmentally friendly approach to golf course management and rearing honey bees (Apis mellifera) to help them survive is a good combination. Absolutely! I managed 17 hives of Africanized honey bees (A. m. scutellata) just 150 yards away from the 14th fairway at St. Andrew's Golf Club in Trinidad for 10 years and presently control a 20-hive apiary of Italian bees (A. m. ligustica) just 40 yards off the fourth fairway at St. Lucia Golf Club in the British Virgin Islands. I have seen bees living in the trees on the second fairway and rough at Tilden Park Golf Course in Berkeley, Calif., and could describe several other instances of bees living in close proximity to people without being a threat. The hype on honey bees Honey bees have had a bad name since the appearance of the Africanized honey bee — the so-called "killer bee" — in 1957 in Brazil. By 1990, they had been found in the U.S. in Texas, and continued to spread north. Today they have been found in an apiary as far north as Monroe County in eastern Tennessee. Not all bees are aggressive like the Africanized bee. There are many docile strains of honey bees such as Italian bees, Minne- sota hygienic bees, carniolan bees, and the Caucasian bee to name a few. If you are considering introducing beehives to your golf course, I would recommend one of these more docile strains such as the Italian honey bee. Urban beekeeping has become increasingly popular, and yields for honey in cities are higher than those for the countryside, possibly due to the diversity of fowering plants. The opera house in Paris has hives; the White House has a hive as do many homes and gardens in London. New York City authorized beekeeping in midMarch 2010, and my hometown of Asheville, N.C., recently authorized beekeeping within the city and declared Asheville "Bee City USA." Setting up an apiary First, make sure that the club manager, the owners and/or committee members understand why establishing an apiary on the golf course property would be a good idea. There is a lot of information out there on the Web about the plight of the honey bee and why we need to help that could assist you in your communications. I would recommend starting with just two hives and putting them in an area that is well out of play and where there is no possibility that someone will go searching for

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