In 2013 the USDA in partnership with the Epa put out a report on the decline of Honeybees. The report list parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure as reasons for honeybee decline in recent years. As we all know, honeybee health is linked to our health. There is anlink between the health of agriculture and the health of our honeybees for our country’s long term agricultural productivity. In other words , the health of our bees ,indicates the health of our crops.
Since that report there has been different things being done to help our honey bees. Intel Corp the compture Chip giant, has stepped in to help disocver what we can do to make our bees feel better, safe and healthier. They are giving the Edison Breakout Board Kit which is aboobut the size of a postage stamp that they are giving to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). the board will be placed in the hives and little rdif chips placed on the honeybees. The bees will beindentified by the raido signals as the pass by. Much like the tracking of Motorcycle racers in a long distance cross country race. As the riders go past their chips in their helmets re picked up by the sensor. The same with the bees, except on a very tiny level. The Global Initiative for Honey bee Health (GIHH) says that the chip is tiny technology that allows researchers to analyse the effects of stress factors including disease, pesticides, air pollution, water contamination, diet and extreme weather on the movements of bees and their ability to pollinate. It is hoped that the information , along with environmental sensors will provide beekeepers, primary producers, industry groups and governments on honey bee behavior.
What can you do to help the honey bee? Well, of course, dont smush them when you see them. Most bees that you do see are little girls who are sent out to gather nectar so that they can not only feed the colony, but put some away for the cold months and time of famine (no flowers giving nectar). The honey is what they feed them and the kids during those months. SO dont smush her, she has mouths to feed.
You can, of course, plant more flowers that bees like. Red clover, foxglove, bee balm, joe-pye weed, and other native plants (in your area) are, of course, favorites. You can plant you some fruits. Not only does the bees enjoy the flowers, you enjoy the fruit. Most importantly, I know there are other bugs that like to eat your flowers, treees and grass, but stay away from the pesticides and fertilizers that are sprayed on the plants. She will be bringing those nasty chemcials home to the kids.
Honeybees are pretty cool creatures. We need them as much as they need us. It is estimated that 3/4 of all foods that are eaten in the world, was pollinated by a honey bee. So to paraphrase a tv show from a few years back (Heroes):
Save the bee, Save the World.