There is a lot of buzz going around about bees these days. What’s going on with these mysterious and humble insects that help create flowers and fruit? Simply put, they are disappearing in alarming numbers. Several theories are being shared as to why this is happening in the natural world. Currently, there is no single cause for their decline, but a combination of several factors.
Two types of mites have been identified as culprits carrying disease and viruses. The over-use of common household pesticides as well as widespread agricultural advancements (RoundUp Ready crops) are also involved. With a loss in native wildflower habitats as well as a sensitivity to diesel fuel and electricity, the cumulative effects result in a severely stressed population.
What can we do to become more aware of the situation and do our part to ensure their survival? To begin with, think locally. Provide a safe area to plant multiple varieties of wildflowers. Ask your local garden store which varieties would be most beneficial. Support local beekeepers and buy locally produced honey. Encourage children to become Bee Stewards and explain to them that most bees are NOT aggressive and don’t want to sting unless threatened. Limit or stop the use of pesticides that are harmful to bees ( and ourselves) and ask for safer alternatives for plant care.
The following websites are good sources of information in greater detail regarding the current state of bee health and awareness: