Help! Stop the Honey Bee Extinction

Should We Really Be Worried About the Death of Bees?

Einstein once remarked, "If bees were to disappear, man would only have a few years to live." In the 1950s there were 500,000 beekeepers in the US. Now there are less than 1600.

75% of beekeepers make their money by taking their bees to California to pollinate almond trees. In 2007, just before the almond tree pollination, 20 billion bees disappeared, leaving many beekeepers bankrupt. Almond trees are totally dependent on bees.

In recent years honey bee populations across the continent have plummeted by a much as 70%, and biologist are still scratching their heads as to why and what to do about the problem which they have termed "colony collapse disorder" (CCD).

Research shows that bees made their first appearance on earth 80 million years ago. The bee has accompanied the human journey. In the earliest cave paintings there are images of men harvesting honey. In hieroglyphs, representations of ancient Mesopotamia and China in the first centuries of recorded time, honey harvesting was depicted. The Promised Land is the land of milk and honey. The bee's product seems to have been the first sweetness in mankind's tough early days. It seems that even now in the early 21st century, mankind can't do without the bee.

What Is the Cause of Colony Collapse Disorder?

  • Many believe that our increasing use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which honey bees ingest during their daily pollination rounds, are largely to blame.
  • Bee populations may also be vulnerable to other factors, such as the recent increase in atmospheric electromagnetic radiation as a result of growing numbers of cell phones and wireless communication towers.
  • Biologists also wonder if global warming may be exacerbating the growth rates of pathogens such as the mites, viruses, and fungi that are known to take their toll on bee colonies.
  • A recent gathering of leading bee biologists yielded no consensus, but most agree that a combination of factors is most likely to blame.

What If Bees Die?

The bee's role is very important within the various life cycles of different species. Without bees, there would be no honey, but more importantly, certain plants would not be able to reproduce and would than become extinct. In turn, this would lead to the disappearance of certain animal species.

According to Jerry Hayes, apiary inspection chief with the state's Division of Plant industry, if honeybees ceased to exist, two-third of the citrus, all of the watermelons, the blueberries, strawberries, pecan, and beans would disappear.

A world without the hardworking honey bee is a world without tasty pears, luscious raspberries and crunchy nuts.

The food producer responsible for one of every three bites the average American eats is in crisis, and more than half of Americans are not even aware there is a problem.

How to Help Bees Survive

Five Simple Tips to Create a Bee-Friendly Garden:

  1. Don't use pesticides. Limit, or better still eliminate the use of pesticides, particularly on attractive plants with open flowers. Nature has given us many things that can get the job done without using harsh chemicals that harm and kill bees. Use vinegar by pouring it directly on the weed to kill it naturally instead.
  2. Choose garden plants and flowers that are pollinator-friendly. This includes most plants in the rose and aster families.
  3. Select flowers that have a single layer of flower petals, such as a classic daisy.
  4. Add non-native plants to your garden to create diversity. Many non-native varieties are excellent and vigorous plants that provide food for bees and pollinators.
  5. Look for flowers that provide food for all seasons. Plant some early flowering plants along with mid and late flowerers. Late-season flowers like goldenrod and aster are especially important.

The latest buzz is that we need bees to pollinate more than 100 different types of crops.


How Haagen-Dazs Is Helping to Save the Honey Bee

Haagen-Dazs thanks the bees for bringing us the ingredients used in so many of their delicious ice cream flavors. Bee pollination is essential for ingredients in nearly 50 percent of their all natural flavors.

This year the Haagen-Dazs brand is donating an additional $50,00 for continued outreach and sponsorship of Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research's first international conference on pollinator biology, health, and policy, bringing the brand's total donation to $620,00 over the last three years.

Educating the public on the importance of bees, bee health, and pollination is essential, and they will use part of this gift to expand the master gardener certification program. This program teaches people how to plant and grow bee-friendly flower gardens, and then return to local communities to share their knowledge allowing more of the public to become educated on the problem and solutions. In addition, the funds will also be used to develop and implement a Pollinator short course which will be incorporated in to existing program resources and tools in to the arboretum at Penn State Pollinator Research and Education gardens.

So the next time you are hungry for ice cream, think Haagen-Dazs and save a bee.

What is making life difficult for honey bees

  • The loss of fragmentation of meadow and prairie habitat
  • Mulch discourages ground nesting for bees, although it does surppress weeds and saves water.
  • Off road vehicles can damage sandy dune habitats.
  • Do not mow your yard when dandelions and clover are in bloom.
  • ,Interruption of the honey bees diets from transporting them.
  • Escaped commercial bees are exposing local bees to new diseases that are killing them.

Back Yard Bee Box

Battle Ground To Save The Honey Bee

  • Set up a back yard water fountain, so the bees can have a water supply.
  • Anyone who plants a garden helps fill the void of declining honey bee.
  • Building window sill flower boxes, even in suburban area, invites honey bees.
  • Report swarms of bees to local authorities, so local beekeepers can remove them..
  • Build a back yard honey bee box.
  • Sound healing deals with the use of sound to heal the honey bee.

Back Yard beekeepers associations

  • Beekeepers associations have become one of the largest clubs for hobbyist.
  • The purpose of Back Yard associations is to provide interesting and practical information about the honey bee and how to become a backyard beekeeper.

Ask Your Legislators to Help the Honey Bee

Ask your legislators what they can do to help the honey bee in your state.

Show a little love for your buzzing friends

Please do not think of your honey bee as an insect that will sting you. Love your honey bee and it will work hard to love you back.

New Guestbook Comments 5 comments

melody-thacker profile image

melody-thacker 4 years ago

I'm on a quest to spread some squidoo love for Random Acts of Kindness Day. You have an awesome lens, informative and well laid out. This is such an important topic so I've shared it on twitter, facebook & pinterest! Keep up the good work!

inspirationz 4 years ago

This is so interesting. I've just spent a while researching how to treat wasp and bee stings so it's interesting to hear about this other side of their existence.

WhiteOak50 profile image

WhiteOak50 4 years ago

I just featured this page on my: Benefits of Acacia Honey page. Good job with this lens, you did a great job. *Blessed*

LisaDH profile image

LisaDH 3 years ago

It now appears that a chemical manufactured by Bayer could be the culprit in CCD. But the EPA hasn't yet banned it.

Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 18 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Great article and well researched so I've linked it to my blog post. Well done.

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