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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Two-thirds of the crops humans use for food production and the majority of wild plant species depend on pollination by insects such as bees and hoverflies. This ecosystem service, however, provided by nature to humans for free, is increasingly failing. — American Bee Journal 10 ing associations in almost every country in the world. Contact your local Agriculture Extension offce and they will put you in touch with the right people. Last November, at the request of the St. Lucia Social Development Fund, I invited a few local farmers, small-scale beekeepers and unemployed citizens to participate in a beginner's program for beekeeping. I expected around 15 to 20 persons but ended up with close to 40 participants. With the owners' blessing, I brought the group out to the golf course to visit the apiary, learn a few techniques for constructing hives and eat lunch catered by the club's restaurant. So, against a backdrop of deck mowers, skid-steers and other maintenance equipment, we had what was considered by all to be a most enjoyable and informative day. Having bees on or associated with your golf course has multiple benefts. By spreading pollen from one plant to another, honey bees maintain the diver- tips for beekeeping beginners • • • • 52 GCM April 2013 GCM Paul Sheppard (paul@thehoneybeesteward.com or blhalliance@gmail.com) is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at St. Lucia Golf Club in the British Virgin Islands and is a 17-year member of the association. v • • Spray pesticide applications at night when you can. If you spray during the day, use more spot-application methods. Go for a more curative rather than preventive approach to pesticide applications. Convert "out-of-play" areas to natural habitat with native flowers as the desirable species. Use native trees and shrubs along fence lines and borders. Try to select plants that flower at different times of the year. In northern countries, spring is the beginning of the nectar flow, but planting or encouraging late bloomers such as goldenrod, wing stem and asters can help the bees in the fall. Tropical and warm-climate plants such as areca palms, Manila palms and royal palms will provide a nectar flow in the off-season. Educate members and guests. Inform the news media. Educate your crew. Rear pollinator-friendly plants in a nursery to be used on the golf course and for landscaping around the clubhouse. Acknowledgments I would like to thank Ed Levi, Diane Almond and Faith B. Kuehn, Ph.D., for their encouragement and support in writing this article. V v • • • • sity and health of plant life. More than 100 agricultural crops are pollinated by honey bees in the United States — a contribution of over $14 billion to the value of production of these crops. It is said that one in every three bites of our food is possible because of bees. From a superintendent's perspective, I think that the biggest impact from keeping bees on the golf course — besides helping to save the bees — is the positive feedback from members, players and the public who are interested in healthy and sustainable environmental practices. The bees produce 30-40 pounds of excess honey a year, depending on location and weather factors. It is a good practice to leave enough honey in the hive to sustain the colony during the winter in northern climates, but in southern and tropical climates, the bees tend to forage all year and more honey can be extracted. The demand often exceeds the supply of "golf course honey" I sell, and it is a big boost for member/community relations. Leo Feser Award candidate This article is eligible for the 2013 Leo Feser Award, presented annually since 1977 to the author of the best superintendent-written article published in GCM during the previous year. Superintendents receive a $300 stipend for articles. Feser Award winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Golf Industry Show, where they are recognized. They also have their names engraved on a plaque permanently displayed at GCSAA headquarters.

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