Save the Honeybees

My mom has a small garden in her backyard. She grows vegetables and flowers. She also has a pomegranate and peach tree too. But this year, the peaches were not as sweet and the pomegranate did not bear as much fruits either. Her zucchini plant was just leaves, unlike previous summers where we had endless supply of zucchinis. But the garden was not a total failure, the eggplants, tomatoes and flowers did pretty well.

So I wonder what happened to the other sad plants? But then I remember hearing about the disappearance of honeybees in California. I thought this could be one of the reasons behind them. Since bees are important in the pollination of our fruit and vegetables.

The disappearance of bees have been reported in other states such as Florida, Oklahoma and Texas too. Beekeepers noticed the disappearing bees back in 2006. It seem that healthy bees were just abandoning their hives to never return. Research is still being done at Penn State University and U.C. Davis. They have named this phenomenon, “Colony Collapse Disorder”. They have found some patterns, but no strong conclusion as to what is the cause of the bees disappearence.

At Burt’s Bees (the maker of a natural skincare company), they believed it is the forces like habitat destruction, misuse of pesticides, invasive species and global warming create risks to honeybees. Burts’ Bees also mention that the bee disappearance is so widespread that it is blamed for losses of up to 70% of the managed bee colonies in U.S. beekeeping operations. So what can we do about it? Burt’s Bees suggest we support local organic farmers and also plant bee friendly flowers. These wildflowers include Calendula, Shasta Daisy, Lance-Leaved Coreopsis, Plains Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower and Sweet William Catchfly.

Another big company, Haagen Dazs (ice cream maker) is also interested in saving the bees. As Haagen Dazs ice creams depend on the fresh fruits and nuts coming out of California. They have created a new flavor called Vanilla Honey Bee. With each purchase, a portion of the profits will go to honey bee research programs at Penn State and UC Davis. I have yet to see this at the grocery store, but will keep my eyes out for them.

Another thing I wonder that would help restore the bees, is to have your own backyard beehive. It probably sounds scary, as the beekeepers are always dressed up like HAZMAT guys. But at the same time, it would be neat to have help the bees and collect honey and beeswax too. But I will save that for another post. In the meantime, you can always visit BackYardHive.com for more information.
Bee & blossom photo insert courtesy of BackYardHive.com

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2 Comments »

  1. Gina said

    Did she have someone to plant the vegetables for her this year? maybe that person doesn’t have a green thumb. My dad always let my sister to do the planting because he claims that she has the green thumb.

    I wonder if it’s safe to have beehives in our backyard, sounds kind of scary.

  2. cambree said

    Hi Gina,
    If there is anyone with the green thumb, it would be my mom. She came from a farming family, so planting comes naturally to her.

    But that is really funny that your dad has your sister do the planting. 🙂

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