The dramatic drop in bee colonies is known as Colony Collapse Disorder. There are theories as to why bees are disappearing but no one knows for sure. Why should we all be concerned about this?
USDA site states that "Bee pollination is responsible for more than $15 billion in increased crop value each year. About one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination. Commercial production of many specialty crops like almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables are dependent on pollinated by honey bees. These are the foods that give our diet diversity, flavor, and nutrition."
What can you do to help combat Colony Collapse Disorder? More than you might think.
- Plant a garden. The easier it is for bees to find nectar and pollen, the less stress they will have. Some of the best plants include red clover, foxglove, bee balm, joe-pye weed, and other native plants.
- Start a hive. It isn't as hard as you might think. In our prior home we had neighbors that lived on .12 acres that had a hive in there yard.
- Support beekeepers by buying local honey from them.
- Sponsor a beehive. There are many organizations that allow you to sponsor a hive. My cousin and his wife recently sponsored a hive in an underdeveloped country for my Aunt's birthday. Not only does that help the bees, it also helps the family that manages the hive.