Have you ever seen those pretty white blossoms on apple trees in the Spring and thought to yourself, “how do those tiny flowers turn into juicy apples?” Turns out, the answer is something we all learned about at a very young age. Pollination! A lot of people don’t know the details as to how apples grow, but the bottom line is without bees and pollination those pretty white flowers would never turn into the beautiful apples we use to make our ciders!
The synchronicity between apples and bees is fascinating and speaks to how nature and the natural cycles of life work together to create something new. The process works when honeybees, mason bees, and bumblebees, which are all the main pollinators of apples, go from blossom to blossom collecting nectar and moving it from male parts of the flower (stamens) to other flowers and their female parts (pistils). This in turn is what causes the apple to start growing.
Without this pollination process, apples would not be able to physically grow. As you may have heard a lot in the news there has been a declining bee population within recent years and apple production is one sector that would suffer greatly from this because bees are needed to produce a good yield. This is also the case with pear trees and some other fruit. Bees are essential in this production, which is just one example of how life’s natural processes relate to another, combining to create something that didn’t exist before.
Because bees are such an essential part of apples and their growth, It’s a common practice for orchard owners/apple producers to work with a beekeeper to make sure that they have a steady flow of bees ready to pollinate in the spring. Without a big enough swarm during the peak season there wouldn’t be as big of a crop. This is important to keep in mind, especially when you’re meeting quotas to have enough crop to make it through the season.
At the end of the day, the process that these bees go through is what makes our orchard as beautiful as it is during the spring blossom season! Without these hard workers pollinating to produce apples, we may not have enough of a harvest to produce our ciders, which is incredible knowing how something so small could contribute to such a bigger picture! Next time you’re on our orchard/farm make sure to keep an eye out for some of these guys buzzing around and remember that without bees, there would be no apples! Check out our website at www.countycider.com and browse all the different kinds of ciders we make using fresh apples from our orchard.