The poor honey bee has been struggling now for a good few years. It’s really sad that it’s future across the globe seems threatened. These fantastic creatures do so much more for our own ecosystem and the environment than we humans do. Yet despite the fact that our entire crop growing economy relies on them so heavily, the powers that be don’t seem to care enough to actually put some money behind finding out what’s causing their drastic reduction in numbers.
The major issue that honey bees are experience is called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). This as yet unexplained condition results in thousands of bees simply leaving a once thriving hive. The result is a completely empty hive often full of honey, infant lave and sometimes even a queen but oddly no drones or workers bees. Bee keepers have reported having large numbers of full hives consisting of thousands of bees, literally emptying themselves in the space of a few hours. There are some dead bees found in and around the hive, but nowhere near the number there should be. They simply left, never to return. Oddly no one is sure what is happening to the bees or causing this un-natural behavior.
So what’s causing the bees to leave and more importantly what can be done to reverse this? As you can imagine, there have been many theories about this including everything from parasites, viruses, mobile phone towers and of course the odd government conspiracy theory. Scientist from around the globe seem to think the issue could be caused by pesticides. Not one pesticide in particular however but more a potent mix of many used. Pollen samples found in hives suffering from CDD have shown that the average pollen sample contained at least four different pesticides, with some containing as much as 28 different pesticides. These pesticides are claimed to be safe to the honey bee however there has been little testing done on the effects that a combination of a number of pesticides have on the hive.
As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, honey bees are vital for pollination and crop growth. Without them our food sources will require artificial pollination requiring more human manipulation of crops. We simply can’t let this happen. We need to help the bee, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because they unwittingly do so much to help us. Until a reason and cure can be found for this issue we need to help out the bee ourselves. I’ve decided to give a corner of my garden to the bees, grass doesn’t offer much in terms of food for them, so I’ve planted some lavender. This not only looks pretty and smells great it will help to encourage the bees to thrive and hopefully give a little help to our small friends.
Thanks for reading.