By: Melissa Pulsinelli and Anne Auten
Year after year, headline after headline, the media continues to shed light on the global issue of mass die offs within our bee population. We understand that Colony Collapse is a very real and scary occurrence with grave implications. So why does it keep happening? China has already been forced into hand pollination of food crops. Does the rest of the world want to follow suit?
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen.
It has long been concluded that there is no single cause for CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) or distressed bee populations today; managed honeybees and wild bees alike are struggling. As a managed product, replacing honeybee colonies is costly, but despite what their health is telling us, we continue to do so. Wild bees will not be so lucky.
Q: So why should you care about the fact that in the six years prior to 2013, more than 10 million beehives were lost?
A: Honey bees (and wild bees) provide the pollination of many of our agricultural crops.
CCD is a global issue. China is already resorting to hand pollinating crops in many areas. In the US, bee shortages have driven production costs up as much as 20% for some growers who've had to rent pollination services.
Science has made amazing improvements to human life, but when we begin trying to "fix" nature with more science, do we become out of touch with our place on this planet? Currently there is a lack of pollinators in our almond fields. Common sense would tell us to create a more bee-friendly environment by planting native wild hedgerows that will sustain the wild bees. Conversely, we could simply ignore the problem creating the issue and the agricultural science industry could develop a variety of almond that doesn't need pollination. What is the answer?
Mark L Winston, in his book Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive writes,
Is our world's vanishing bee population the 1000th cut for you or are you willing to listen to the message? They are showing us something. We need to tune in to the lessons from the hive.
Here are a Few Ways to Support our Bees
Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden
Planting a Bee-friendly garden is a Win-Win
Build a Bee Block or Insect Hotel
Provide a Bee-friendly Habitat for Wild Bees
Buy Local Honey - Support Your Beekeepers
Buying Locally Grown Products Supports Your Local Economy
Eliminate Garden Pesticide Usage
Eliminate chemical pesticides from use in your garden.
Neocides especially have been proven to be associated with mass bee population die offs.
Suggested resources for alternatives:
EarthEasy: Natural Garden Pest Control
Mother Earth News: Organic Pest Control
Weed'Em & Reap: Natural Garden Pest Control
Bee Activism - Click and Arm Chair Activate!