In last fortnight’s Big Issue, there was a fascinating article about Colony Collapse Disorder of beehives.
Since 2004, “bees across the US and parts of Europe began abandoning their hives,” a phenomenon “which has bypassed Australia (so far).”
The article discusses how Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is diagnosed:
“The [abandoned frames] all had honey in them, indicating that there had been plenty of food. They were filled with young larvae, meaning the bees, usually fiercely maternal, had abandoned their young. There were no signs of moths or pests that normally invade sick colonies. And… [keepers] couldn’t find any dead bees.”
what it means for us, as consumers:
“Roughly one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat depends on the humble honeybee. But honey production is a relatively minor aspect of bees’ contribution, It’s their pollination of plants, in their unending quest for nectar, that most deserves our gratitude. About 90 fruit and vegetable varieties… are much more productive with the assistance of bees.”
how we can rectify this situation:
“… The international citizens’ watchdog group, Avaaz, has circulated a petition… [that] calls upon the US and EU to join the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, which some independent researchers now cite as the cause of CCD.”
and what’s already being done by people such as Melbournian Lyndon Fenlon, “bees’ champion extraordinaire”:
“He is ingenious at locating suitable sites to build new hives, whether in scrapyards, disused factories, backyards… There are now hives on the roof of a railway station in Belgium and even atop the Paris Opera House.”
Sounds similar to the the plot of Bee Movie!
Images via YouTube.