40% of honeybee colonies died in the past year according to a recent USDA report and that doesn’t include all the deaths prior to that time. The culprit appears to be a neuro-toxic pesticide marketed by Bayer. It affects the central nervous system that impairs the bee’s mobility, navigation, feeding, foraging, memory, and learning. Bees go foraging and never return, very unusual. When the European Union was presented with this evidence, they immediately suspended the use of the most widely used neonicotinoids. The USA EPA decided to study it further, more bees died.
Why is this so important? It isn’t just about honey, it’s about pollination (strawberries, avocados, peaches, pumpkins, and 140 other fruits and vegetables). So not only will we lose produce, agricultural revenue, but small businesses and family farms will suffer and customers will pay higher and higher prices for things we take for granted. As someone who uses all of the produce on the list, growing some myself, I am very concerned about the bee population. We always have some plants go to seed so they can produce flowers for the bees.
What can you do? go to the following website to learn more http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2015-2-march-april/feature/buzz-kill , plant bee-friendly flowers (organic), join a local bee club http://www.bvbeeks.org/ . This is not about political leanings, this is about having bees in the future. A recent article explained how bees were being used to assist refugees coming into Denmark (meaningful work), helping to ease the tensions between locals and refugees and benefitting the bee population! Start this year making a real difference by taking action, particularly when the bees are fighting for their lives against companies whose number one responsibility is to generate profit for their shareholders, no exceptions.