Bee-ing Mindful of our Pollinators

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays food carnival. Click here to learn more about sustainable eating and living.

Anyone out there enjoy almonds? Almond butter? Do you like that almond butter on apples?

Do blueberries, peaches, avocados, pears, pumpkins, cherries, melons, soybean and sunflower products also contribute to part of your daily diet? If so, you have bees to thank.

Bees are responsible for pollinating the above plants, and are an unrecognized essential part of our agriculture industry. Without bees, not only would apples and almonds disappear from our grocery stores, but $15 billion dollars of agriculture crops would no longer be available — that’s 100 different varieties crops grown in the USA annually. Overall, honey bees are responsible for 1/3 of our food crop.

I don’t write about this to discourage you from being afraid of bees, or from swatting at them. I bring light to the benefit of the honey bee because there is a significant problem affecting bees which threatens our food supply and bees’ very existence.

Western beekeepers have lost more than 25 percent of their colonies over the last few winters, in what is being termed as “colony collapse disorder”, in which an entire colony leaves the hive and dies. Reports of CCD come from 35 states in the USA and several other countries in the last three years. Suspected causes range from pollution and chemical exposure to poor nutrition, viruses and cell phone signals.

We each can do a part to help honeybees survive. Planting bee-friendly species such as lavender, rosemary, thyme, jasmine, wisteria, sunflowers, violets and other bee-pollinating flowers will ensure adequate food sources for your local population and keep worldwide populations sustained.

Make a donation to UC Davis or Pennyslania State University to help them find a solution to Colony Collapse Disorder (Click here to donate).

Support your local beekeeper by purchasing their products at the farmer’s markets. Beeswax candles and local honey are natural, sustainable products that support your local economy and keep your local beekeeper in business.

Thanks to Anthropologie for the alert on the honey bee crisis.
Click on the links below to learn more:

Photo taken from flickr.com (user Autan) Click here for more of Autan’s work

Agnew, Singeli. “The Almond and the Bee.” San Francisco Chronicle October 14, 2007

“Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons.” The New York Times Online.October 14, 2007.

“Disorder Caused 45% of Bee Losses.” The Daily Green Online. 14 June 2007.

Haagen-Daaz’s website for education and more: http://helpthehoneybees.com/

UC Davis Research Facility and Upcoming Garden Plans: http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/news/honeybeehavenwinner.html

Bee-friendly plants for your garden: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=12052

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8 thoughts on “Bee-ing Mindful of our Pollinators

  1. I knew about this… but hadn’t really spent much time considering how I could help. I’ll be planting an urban balcony garden this summer, and I LOVE the idea of planting bee friendly flowers/herbs 🙂 Also- buying local honey also can translate into local candles- thanks for the wonderful information and tips 🙂

  2. The picture alone on this post was worth the visit. Wow! But, it was a lot more than that. Thanks for painting such a vivid picture regarding what we owe these fascinating insects, and providing access to more information. Well done!

  3. I’ve been aware of this for a while, but like EcoYogini I hadn’t considered what we could actually do to improve the situation. It just seemed like one of those things that was out of my control. Thanks for bringing it down to our level with these useful tips.

    Thanks, too, for joining in Fight Back Fridays today!

    Cheers,
    KristenM
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  4. Kristen,

    Always a pleasure to participate! I intend on being a regular contributor.

    Also, to Ecoyogini:
    So much of media is information-based, without much of a call to action. One of the (many) reasons I unplugged from television years ago was because the news was all doom and gloom and left me feeling helpless about the situation.
    Whenever I inform, I always try and empower those who are inspired to take action and provide easy ways to accomplish it. I believe this is how change happens on a global level.

  5. Kristen,

    Always a pleasure to participate! I intend on being a regular contributor.

    Also, to Ecoyogini:
    So much of media is information-based, without much of a call to action. One of the (many) reasons I unplugged from television years ago was because the news was all doom and gloom and left me feeling helpless about the situation.
    Whenever I inform, I always try to empower those who are inspired to take action and provide easy ways to accomplish it. I believe this is how change happens on a global level.

  6. Kristen,

    Always a pleasure to participate! I intend on being a regular contributor.

    Also, to Ecoyogini:
    So much of media is information-based, without much of a call to action. One of the (many) reasons I unplugged from television years ago was because the news was all doom and gloom and left me feeling helpless about the situation.
    Whenever I inform, I always endeavor to empower those who are inspired to take action and provide easy ways to accomplish it. I believe this is how change happens on a global level.

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