Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bee Aware

Where are all the bees? The worker bees are disappearing from the hives around the world. While this is not the first time in history this event has occurred, it has started to happen in many different countries in alarming numbers. Researchers have not found any bodies, so they are unable to determine why the bees are not returning to the hives. In some countries, the bee population is dropping by as much as 30% per year. They are now importing bees to increase their bee population and honey industry.
This phenomenon is being referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. North America was one of the first countries to report high incidents of CCD in late 2006. Further reports have been received from many countries throughout Europe. Scientists are concerned as the bees play a vital role in the food chain. They are responsible for pollinating hundreds of food crops, nuts, flowers, vegetables and fruits. If our bee population continues drop, it will affect the delicate balance of nature and our crop production in future years.
There are many theories about why the bee population around the world is declining in such great numbers. Environmental changes such as the use of pesticides, genetically modified foods, malnutrition and drought may be affecting the bees. Another theory is that cell phone radiation is interfering with the bee's ability to find it's way back to the hive. As a result, some major cities are placing their beehives on top of building to assist the bees in returning to the hives. War also affects the bee population in some countries, particularly where oil has been burning. This has wiped out entire bee communities. Scientists suggest that it may be a combination of several of these factors.
So what can we do? Supporting our bee and honey industry will be vital to ensuring their and our long-term survival. Here are a few things you can do to help. Use organic fertilizers and natural biological controls in your gardens and on your lawns. Plant bee friendly plants - bees are attracted to yellow, purple and blue flowers. Nurseries will be able to provide more information about which plants are best to use in your area. Plant native wildflowers and plants in your gardens and in common areas to attract and support bee survival. By looking after one of our smallest creatures, we can make a difference in restoring the balance for future generations.

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