Thank God for Bees
LET’S FACE IT, BEES ARE AMAZING!
Of all the insects in the world, the Honey Bee has to be the most incredible creature of them all. In fact, humans share a deep symbiotic relationship with them. We love bees and the positive impact that they have on our world.
- Honeybees can fly approximately 15 miles per hour and will usually travel approximately 3 miles from their hive each day.
- A single honeybee will only produce approximately 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
- A honeybee will flap its wings about 11,400 times per minute creating the "buzz" that you hear.
- Honeybees are the only bees that die after they sting.
- Honeybees are entirely herbivorous when they forage for nectar and pollen.
- A bees honey can speed up the healing process and combats infections.
- It would take about 1 ounce of honey to fuel a honeybee's flight around the world.
- Honeybee colonies have unique odors that members flash like ID cards at the hive's front door, so the guard bees can recognize the entering bees.
- Honeybees are responsible for approximately 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the United States.
- The bee is the official state insect in 14 U.S. states.
- Honey never spoils, and neither does bees wax.
Bees arent out to get you...
Honeybees are vegetarians. They want to forage pollen and nectar from flowers miles from their hive and bring that food back to provide food for themselves and the beehive. Contrary to what the media might have us believe, they are not out to sting us. Here are a few tips to avoid getting stung.
1. Stay still and calm if a bee is around you or lands on you. Many bees will check you out and smell you quickly realizing they are not interested .
2. Don’t stand in front of a hive opening, or a pathway to a concentration of flowers. Bees are busy running back and forth from the hive, and if you don’t get in their way, they won’t be in yours.
3. Learn to differentiate between honeybees and wasps or hornets. Honeybees die after they sting humans wasps do not. Wasps are carnivores, so they like your lunch-meats and soda. Honeybees are vegetarians and are only interested in flower nectar and pollen.
While honey bees are far from helpless, they have plenty of negative factors that affect them:
Widespread use of pesticides are common practice in current chemical intensive agriculture, and can lead to mortality and/or altered foraging abilities for both wild and managed bees. Several studies show that pesticides undermine the immune system of insects, making them more susceptible to disease, parasites and pathogens.There is growing evidence that exposure to pesticides may compromise the immune system of bees. Furthermore, there is also evidence that exposure to pesticides may increase the susceptibility of bees to infections with parasites
Roundup, (the ubiquitous weed killer, which contains a chemical called glyphosate) is the most widely used herbicide in the entire world,Researchers believe the chemical may be poisoning entire colonies and even impacting bees’ ability to pollinate.Exposure to glysophates commonly found in agricultural settings impairs the cognitive capacities needed to retrieve and integrate spatial information for a successful return to the hive. Something like 80 percent of American honey tested had levels of glyphosate.”
Large-scale herbicide application drastically reduces noncrop plant diversity and abundance, and thus limits food availability for bees at any given moment. The chemical destruction of habitats through the massive application of herbicides can have long term consequences, particularly on the distribution of pollinators in agro-environments .
Study data found the bees’ buzzing increased tenfold when the phones rang or were in use, but was normal otherwise. The frequency seemed to act as an instinctive warning for the bees to leave their hives, scientists discovered the bees became disoriented once they were no longer surrounded by the safety of their hives. It’s not just the phones themselves radiation from mobile phone towers is especially harmful because it is bioactive, meaning it interferes with the psychological functions of organisms, including bees.
Industrial Scale/Commercial Bee Farming
Exposes the bees to pesticides—Commercial beekeepers allow the bees to forage on crops that have been sprayed with pesticides.
They don’t allow the bees to eat honey—Commercial beekeepers harvest all the honey –the bees’ main winter food source– in the fall and feed the bees sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (whatever happens to be cheaper) until the spring nectar flows.
Forces the bees to build larger brood cells—Commercial beehives dictate the size of the cells that the bee makes to lay their brood. This forces the bees to create a larger brood than they would naturally make on their own.
As a result, it takes the bees a day longer to cap the brood. This gives the mites time to come into the brood, laying eggs in the same cell before it is capped off. Bees affected by mites typically have much a shorter lifespan, and they can be weakened and deformed.
Creates an unhealthy environment for the bees—The commercial hive is designed for the ease of the beekeeper and not necessarily for the health of the bees.
Commercial bee hives are designed to fit on pallets loaded on trucks to be shipped around the country for pollination services. This stresses and weakens the bees, leading to lower production and declined health of the colony.
Industrial mono-cultures are not natural and only sustained with the application of high amounts of fertilizers, pesticides and heavy machinery. Mono-cultures result in a lack of biodiversity (genetic diversity and diversity of plants and landscapes) within and around croplands, and limit the amount of food that pollinators have access to, both in space and time.A parallel decline in plant diversity at the local scale with the decline in bees and other pollinators has been shown .
Practices such as tillage, irrigation, and the removal of woody vegetation, destroy nesting sites of pollinators.
Parasites ,Pathogens, Treatment
In several countries, parasites like the Varroa mite have been identified as a major cause of bee colony loss. Varroa mites transmit pathogens like viruses and bacteria which are damaging to bee health. This parasite has wiped out entire populations of Western honey bees over recent years.In the past, efforts to control this parasite have concentrated exclusively on chemical treatment which results in a weakened compromised hive. Fortunately various alternatives have been found, from essential oils,to new ingenious beetle traps ,to nothing at all focusing on breeding up a stronger less susceptible hive and natural immunity found in a healthy colony.
Now we know this is very controversial, but there is just too much info out there pertaining to the subject, that we can't leave it out. And for those that believe this is a problem they think it is one of the bigger ones. A new study published June 4, 2105 exposes aluminum as a factor in bee decline."Aluminum is the most significant environmental contaminant of recent times..." Where is all this new aluminum contamination coming from? All evidence points to ongoing aerosol spray programs being performed in numerous countries worldwide. The unprecedented spraying of very fine aluminum powder has decimated insect populations and has facilitated animal die-offs and the sudden rise of lung cancer to the position of #3 killer of humans. Scientists say that the amount of aluminum found in bee pupae was more than enough to cause brain damage in a human. The team stated that bees rely heavily on cognitive function to survive and that the high aluminum levels found in the colonies were extremely concerning given that it is a neurotoxic metal. Science has already illustrated that aluminum pollution can have a negative effect on bee’s cognitive abilities — some research has even shown that it out-and-out causes dementia in them too.
Poor nutrition, stemming from diminishing availability of varied, clean forage; the dwindling genetic diversity of European honeybees; and almost three dozen other parasites, viruses, bacteria,funguses and diseases-- all make it difficult to sustain healthy honey bee hives
Aside from the honey bee there are 20,000 different kinds of bees worldwide.
These negative factors are a warning about unexpected impacts on other pollinators as well, and are a reminder of the need to apply the precautionary principle to protect pollinators as a whole, both managed and in the wild.Restrictions applied only to crops attractive to honeybees will still put other pollinators at risk .Insecticides in particular pose the most direct risk to pollinators. As their name indicates, these are chemicals designed to kill insects, and they are widely applied in the environment, mostly around cropland areas.it is becoming increasingly evident that some insecticides have a negative effect on the health of pollinators – both individually and at the colony level.The sub-lethal, low-dose effects of insecticides on bees are only part of the problem
"To have bees you don't need a bee hive...
Plant a pollinator friendly garden patch with diverse native species and other bee favorites such as marjoram, lavender ect in your garden."
Switch from pesticides to organic alternatives. You can look up some simple alternatives online such as vinegar and water to use as a weed killer if necessary
Provide a water source such as a shallow bird bath with rocks in it.
If you see a swarm or have a colony of bees which has taken up residence in an unwanted area contact us or a local beekeeper for removal.