What Is Happening To Our Bees?

March 23, 2011 at 10:31 am Leave a comment

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!”

-Albert Einstein

Photo credit:MightyBoyBrian on flickr

This quote reminds me of an article I read in The Globe and Mail.  The article highlighted a 3 year study that was conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the subject of  bumblebee population in the US.

The outcome for bees is dire. They found a 96% decrease in population among 4 species.  This study basically gave the conclusive evidence that we, here in North America, have an alarming issue  that not enough of us are aware of.  Studies like this have also been conducted across Asia and Europe with similar results.

The reasoning behind this massive world-wide decline in crucial pollinators is still up for debate.

One theory blames increasing numbers of GM crops. “Are GM Crops Killing Bees?“, an article originally written in Germany, provides some compelling arguments. Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, a professor at the University of Halle in eastern Germany, stated that bacterial toxin in genetically modified corn may have “altered the surface of the bee’s intestines”. This led to a weakened bee that would  have a greater chance of allowing parasites to enter their bodies.

Another theory blames pesticides as a cause for declining bee numbers. In the study, “High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals in North America Apiaries:Implications for Honey Bee Health”, 887 pollen, wax, bee and hive samples were taken. The samples contained 8 different pesticides on average. A total of 98 pesticides and metabolite were detected in bee pollen, representing a “remarkably high level for toxicants”. Read more about this study in this Beyond Pesticides article.

What can we do to help preserve the bee population before it’s too late? That is something to think on and I would love to read your comments! Personally I intend to support organic farming as much as possible. Check out this article which decides if organic apples are worth the extra cost, Worth it? Apples to Apples.

One thing we do have to look forward to, this year we welcome Dickey Bee Honey to Ecofest Barrie. This impressive business has been family run for 4 generations. As they state on their website :

“We need to work very diligently to protect our bee’s existence, crops and the environment. We have the healthiest bees – in the cleanest environment, and Canadian honey is the most delicious in the world.”-Peter & Sandi at Dickey Bee Honey

That is a business I would go out of my way to support! Make sure to check out all of their products and services, which include a BeeKeeping class!

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Entry filed under: buy local, City of Barrie, eco friendly, food and drink, Green Event, local economy, local marketplace, ontario. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Lisa Brunetta, Ecofest Artist Showcase Trashfusion Inspires Students At Mississauga Secondary School!

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