Save the Bees May 22, 2008Posted by smooregasbord in Eco/Green, Food, General.
Honey bees are disappearing at an alarming rate. Much of this is due to CCD (colony collapse disorder). What is CCD? The simple definition is where a group of seemingly healthy worker bees up-and-leave their hive abruptly and permanently. Beekeepers first noticed this movement in late 2006. Researchers estimate that nearly one-third of all honey bee colonies in the country have vanished. (source: NRDC.org)
“Why are the bees leaving? Scientists studying the disorder believe a combination of factors could be making bees sick, including pesticide exposure, an inadequate food supply, and a new virus that targets bees’ immune systems.” (source: NRDC.org)
Think you won’t miss the bees? Think again. One out of every three bites of food we eat depends on bees for pollination. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about one-third of the human diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants and that the honey bee is responsible for 80 percent of this pollination. As a matter of fact, bee pollination is key in producing many fruit, vegetable, and nut crops (strawberries, cucumbers, almonds, etc).
How can you help?
1. Plant bee-friendly plants in your yard like lavendar, rosemary, or sunflowers.
2. Stop the use of harmful pesticides.
3. Help support beekeepers by purchasing local honey or honey products like beeswax candles.
4. Here’s my favorite: Eat ice cream, but not just any ice cream. Haagen-Dazs is donating funds to Penn State and UC Davis for every container of “vanilla honey bee” ice cream or “vanilla, honey & granola” frozen yogurt sold. The funds will go to support honey bee and sustainable pollination research programs at each of these universities.