Thursday, September 22, 2011

Save The Honey Bees, We Really Must

We must save the honey bees. Why? Because if all our bees become missing bees, so will we! Over the last 25 years, thousands of bee populations across North America alone have collapsed.

This is a dreadful situation and one that is happening all over the planet. However, we can all play a part in helping to save them if we want, which of course we do. How can we all help to save the honey bees? The cause of this collapse is still unclear, but it has scientists all over the world very nervous because honey bees form an important part of the environment and the agricultural cycle.

This article contains information about why bees are important, the dangers facing honey bees, and what you and I can do to help save the honey bees.

While many people regard honey bees as an annoyance due to their painful, and potentially dangerous, sting.
Honey bees will only usually sting you if you frighten them or wave your arms around like crazy if they are nearby. Best to just stand still! Especially if you see a honey bee swarm.

Interestingly some people actually benefit from bee sting treatment for the cure of arthritis and other ailments.

Bees play an important part in the ecosystem since they are one of the main vehicles of plant pollination.

Bees feed on the pollen and nectar produced by flowers, this is how bees make honey and as bees move from one plant to another, pollen gets transferred and the plant becomes fertilized, allowing it to produce fruit.

In the wild, countless species of plants are dependent on honey bees for their continued survival. It doesn?t bear thinking about to me that without our honey bees there would be no benefits of honey at all! Not only are bees important for keeping wild plants alive, but they are vital to pollinating the majority of food crops that we depend on. And it isn?t just food we depend on our honey bees for. Did you know or realize honey bees pollinate our cotton crops? Imagine that, no more comfy jeans!

Almost all domesticated fruits and vegetables depend on bees for reproduction, and the loss of bee populations represents a significant risk to the maintenance of agricultural productivity. Surely this alone is reason to save the honey bees!

The dependence of wild and domestic plants on bees is what makes the decline in bee population so worrying.

Today, feral honeybees are nearly extinct in the United States and beekeepers are also reporting staggering losses.

Scientists have dubbed this problem, Colony Collapse Disorder also known as disappearing bees, and though no one is completely sure what has caused this major population collapse, scientists do have a few ideas.

I for one hope they find a solution soon and save the honey bees from extinction!
First, several bee hives seem to have been attacked by different types of parasites and honeybee disease, including viruses, mites, and fungi. The increased use of pesticides also seems to be negatively impacting bee populations.

For example, in the state of California there was a 35 fold increase in the number of fields treated with pesticides between the years 1994 and 2005, a time period that corresponds with population collapse among bees.

The diet of cultured bees may also be a problem as some studies have shown that bees fed nectar from a single plant source have weaker immune systems than those who eat from various plant sources. We should be very aware of the right diet when feeding honeybees.

Though the situation seems dire, there are many things we can do to help save the honey bees and help bee populations recover. For example, if you have a garden, plant it with bee-friendly flowers, your very own honeybee garden.

The types of plants and flowers you grow will have a huge impact on attracting honey bees which will reward you with a beautiful garden to sit in and enjoy.

Leave a part of your garden to run wild with the dandelions, daisies and clover, try not to cut the lawn so often (dad?s that is music to your ears). If possible do not use the chemical pesticides most people believe are necessary.

Just be natural after all our plants and flowers managed quite well before these chemicals were introduced didn?t they!

Good plants include daisy shaped flowers like sunflowers (honey bee favorites) and tall plants like hollyhocks are also a good choice. Your local nursery should be able to direct you in what plants are best to choose for your environment.

You and I can also help save the honey bees by supporting local apiaries through buying locally produced raw honey.

With the complete collapse of wild bee populations, the future survival of these pollinators is in the hands of those into beekeeping, which depend on the sale of honey and beeswax to make the money necessary to maintain their hives.

Unlike supermarket honey, local honey comes in a variety of different flavors, reflecting the local plant life that bees feed on. The different kinds of honey our honey bees produce is quite mind blowing!

Finally, consider becoming a beekeeper yourself. While caring for bees does require some specialized knowledge, many areas have local bee clubs that are happy to assist with training and to help you acquire the necessary beekeeping equipment.

View the original article here


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