Agri-business News Honeybees On a Comb

Published on July 3rd, 2008 | by Meredith Melnick

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Honeybee Rescue! What You Can Do To Help

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In keeping with Honey Week here at Eat.Drink.Better, I started looking at the various ways individuals can help combat Colony Collapse Syndrome. One major impediment to the endeavor is that scientists aren’t really sure what’s causing the disappearance of honeybees. Theories range from viruses to environmental and agricultural causes. What we do know is that bees are disappearing at an alarming rate and that this will affect us in profound and irrevocable ways. One-third of the food we consume comes from pollinators. Bees are responsible for pollinating almonds, apples, soft fruit, and berries among other crops. Without them, we will lose more than honey (a tragedy in its own right!), we will lose a large portion of the biodiversity we now enjoy on our plates.

However, there are things we can do at home to help promote honeybees and their way of life.

Plant Sunflowers

Sunflowers are hardy and quick growing and bees are attracted to their bright colors. By growing them, we can create a reliable food source. Additionally, initiatives such as The Great Sunflower Project send sunflower seeds to designated growers who then observe honeybee activities around their grown flowers and report back. Other plants that bees like: dandelions, lavender, blueberry, clover and echinacea.

Stop Spraying Pesticides

We all hate the bugs that make our gardens ugly and our skin itch, but these toxic brews are indiscriminate in the kinds of insects they affect. While we don’t know what is causing honeybee disappearance, surely the noxious chemicals that cloud our backyards aren’t helping.

Help Bees Find A Home

If you notice bees swarming, it means a colony is looking for a new hive. Call a local beekeeper who can come and give the community some new digs. If you’d like to ensure a productive garden, you can even keep them for yourself. There are many guides to amateur beekeeping, but The Backyard Beekeeper is a good bet.

Let Your Garden Go to Seed

When you harvest your produce – be it cherry tomatoes and lavender or an elaborate orchard – leave some fruits and vegetables on the plant to go to seed. This allows the bees to stockpile food for the long winter, when they stay in their hives.

And of course, the most important thing you can do is help support honeybee research by donating to a charity or calling up your congressional representatives. Now that we know, it’s time to solve the problem.

Related Posts:

Honey-Herb Sauce

Ayurvedic Honey Cures

Honey Week

Colony Collapse Syndrome

Image Credit: Todd Huffman under a Creative Commons License

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About the Author

I am a big fan of food. I am not a big fan of endocrine disrupting or carcinogenic compounds in my food. I will probably write a lot about that here.



  • http://thebeetree.org The Bee Tree

    Help the honeybees! Prevent the loss of the world food supply.
    Learn how you can help cure Colony Collapse Disorder.
    Visit thebeetree(dot)org.

  • http://daflikkers.blogspot.com/ Blogengeezer

    We have had numerous swarms this last year, all emanating from a large ‘Hawk House’ I built. Our son has an identical Hawk house I also built. It is always creating swarms as well. I have called several beekeepers asking if they want them. The standard answer is “We are extremely busy collecting swarms this year, maybe later” This ‘reported’ lack of bees must be changing, or is it a regional problem only?
    Anyone want the measurements of my ‘Hawk Houses’ :>)

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