Grow Your Own Food

Published on February 17th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe


Colony Collapse Disorder: It’s a biodiversity thing.

Bee Expert on Colony Collapse Disorder

Bee expert Dave Hunter did an open Q&A on colony collapse disorder and shared some eye-opening insights.

Are you guys familiar with Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything?” It’s basically a space where celebrities and experts can have an open conversation with community members about who they are and what they do. Ask Me Anythings run the gamut from actors, comedians, and writers to scientists and other folks who are experts in their fields. A recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) featured bee expert Dave Hunter talking about how to fight colony collapse disorder and save our bee population.

Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder

Bees and other pollinators are critical to our world’s food supply. A huge portion of the foods we eat every day would not exist without these tiny animals going about their business.

Colony collapse disorder (CCD) threatens our bee populations and therefore our food supply. What’s causing CCD has been the subject of debate for a long time. Factors like feeding bees highf fructose corn syrup in industrial honey operations may be partly to blame. A major factor that’s definitely causing CCD is the use of certain pesticides in farming and gardening.

Colony Collapse Disorder & Biodiversity

While CCD doesn’t only impact honey bees, they do seem to be getting hit harder than some wild bee populations. The problem does extend to some wild bees, but at Hunter points out in his AMA that biodiversity is the key to protecting our food supply.

Hunter points out that relying just on honey bees to pollinate our food is crazy. Just as planting the same variety of corn over and over is a recipe for a food security disaster, we need to diversify the pollinators on our farms and in our gardens.

He advocates keeping wild bees if you can or at least planning your back yard or garden to attract local wild bees. I really liked the Rule of ONE that he shared:

1. plant one native plant in your yard. 2. get rid of one chemical 3. plant one food (tomato, apple, etc.) 4. Let one pest survive. predators (lady bugs) have to have pests to eat. no pests, no predators. 5. Learn to raise gentle bees.

Hunter is the owner of a company called Crown Bees. They provide resources for folks wanting to keep mason bees. They sell bees and beekeeping supplies, and they’re dedicated to helping their customers raise healthy bees and shore up the number of local pollinators in their areas.

What made Crown Bees stand out for me is that they’re out to do more than make money. Part of their mission statement is to circle back with customers three to five years down the road and encourage them to donate their extra bees to help pollinate local orchards.

Hunter shared so much great information on mason bees, beekeeping, colony collapse disorder, and the future of our food supply in his AMA! I encourage you to head over to Reddit and check out the whole thing.

Image Credit: Bee graphic via Shutterstock

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

2 Responses to Colony Collapse Disorder: It’s a biodiversity thing.

  1. Pingback: French honey crop under threat as bee deaths blamed on pesticides – The Connexion | vie en France

  2. corky Luster says:

    Again..Dave Hunter has no clue about the facts of honeybees.
    Sorry Dave, do your homework before trying to sound important.

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