Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Are Bees really disappearing?

When I use to see a bee I would run the other way. I did not like the idea of being stung. But now I see bees differently. I find myself putting my nose right up to them to observe them. God created these little creatures for a special purpose.

honey bee sipping nectar honey bee flying

Honeybees are responsible for 80% of all pollination. They help create seeds in flowers, we use beeswax in many products, we use honey for bread, and they help in the forming of fruits, vegetables, and some nuts. Wow, they are really important!

Recently, I heard that something called, “Colony Collapse Disorder” is affecting honeybees across our country. I was greatly concerned so I decided to do research on different people’s theories. I have grown to care about these little creatures and want other people to know that they are in danger.

“Colony Collapse Disorder” is caused by Tracheal and Varroa mites. A few weeks before the bees collapse they appear healthy. Then the adult bees disappear from the colony leaving behind a hive full of honey. The honeybee population across our continent has gone done as much as 70 percent! 

On Guideposts web-site I found a story about a farmer who went through this disorder with her bees. Please go to  http://www.guideposts.com/story/backyard-beekeeper?page=0,0 to read this amazing story. In this article it talked about a theory of why bees are dying. I think it makes logical sense so I decided to include it in my post.

A healthy bee will groom itself and shed off the mites. When bees go to forage on fields sprayed with pesticides, they get weak and can’t fight back. This results in death.

Many farmers use chemicals strips to try to kill the mites. They are suppose to kill the mites but not the bees. These strips are fatal to humans if inhaled! How could these chemicals help save the bees if they are fatal to humans? The farmer in the link I posted found a different solution without the use of chemicals.

How can you help?

1. Buy organic produce.

2. Avoid the use of chemical pesticides in your garden area. There are environmentally friendly alternatives. encourage natural predators in your garden like ladybugs for aphid control. ( I go to the extremes of picking off pests by hand. )  

3. Buy local honey from small honey bee farmers.

4. Plant native wildflowers from your area for bees to get pollen from.

Please enjoy these pictures I took of different bees.

Bumble bee 2 Bumble bee one

IMG_0183 IMG_0185

1 comment:

  1. You might be interested in a book by Allison Wallace called "A Keeper of Bees". Also, the other night Nightline featured a story on Monarch butterflies that gather in the remote mountains of Mexico. You can find it on the Nightline Web site, dated May 25, 2009.