Honeybees are on a decline if you’re unaware. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA’s internal research agency, is leading several efforts into possible Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) causes. Scientist are looking at four general categories for the causes:
- Management stressors
- Environmental stressors
Not only American’s are unhealthy, but the health of our honey bees are as well. David vanEngeladorp, Ph.D. an entomologist at the University of Maryland was the first to discover honey bees were in trouble 11 years ago. The biggest factors affecting bees’ are the increasing use of pesticides, vaaroa mites and poor nutrition. They cause the bees immune system to be weaken — leaving them highly subseptical to the flu, other viruses and pathogens.
We all should be worried and take the necessary steps to help protect our country’s most efficient pollinators. Bees’ play an intricate part in our food system. They pollinate 33% of what we eat. Just imagine if they’re exsistance were to decline tremendously, we may experience a food shortage.
The Foods We’d Lose
That’s just a handful of them, the list still goes on and on. So, how can you help? Over at Food Democracy Now, you could sign a petition that will go to President Obama urging him to ban the use of neonics. According to the petition, neonicotinoid’s this class of insecticides can kill bees’ outright, impair brain function and suppress their immune system — leaving them more vulnerable to diseases. Also, Takepart is another website you could visit for petitions, awarenesses and pledges of all kinds of environmental crisis. Every vote counts!
What Else You Can Do to Help
- Buy local honey: Support local bee keepers. Where to find them? Your local farmers market
- Make a garden: Make your outdoor space pollinator-friendly plants that are good sources of nectar and pollen. Visit pollinator.org/guides to pick out beautiful options.
- Safe Pesticides: Look for bee-friendly alternatives. Check out groworganic.com Don’t use commercial pesticides or herbicides.
- Go Organic: This certifies safer regulations on spraying and the fruits and vegetables are more nutritious.
Join the movement and help save our bees!