There is a lot of hue and cry about bees vanishing from the earth. But have you tried to find out what chaos is all about or why is this happening? Well if not, Stylewhack team helps you to understand the apocalypse we will face if our honey providers vanish one day.
The mystery of the vanishing bees and why they are important to all of us –
What do the Bees do?
Well when we think of honey bees, what comes to our minds is ‘honey’. However they do much more than producing our favorite health food. The importance of bees for the food chain and our sustenance is hard to overstate. They pollinate a number of plants to give us 1/3rd of the food which is available on our dinner table today. To name a few plants – Onion, Strawberry, Mustard, Kiwi, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Capsicum etc. Imagine the fate of our dinner table if these insects were to extinct!
The Colony Collapse Disorder
In 2007, America faced a strange phenomenon. Commercial Beekeeper Dave Hackenberg from Florida found more than 400 of his bee hives EMPTY! The queen bees remained, however there was no sign of the worker bees. Soon this phenomenon was seen in most of the parts of the US and an investigation begun. It became a sensational news soon. They called the syndrome as Colony Collapse Disorder.
The Floating Theories
Soon the phenomenon spread through Europe and Asia and there were theories floating all over. Some of the theories were –
- Cell phone towers which disoriented the bees and hence they lost their way home.
- Pesticides specifically a group called neonicotinoids which can be stored in the pollens and nectar. The premise was that neonicotinoids could cloud the bees’ brains and interfere with their home coming routine.
- A parasite named Varroa destructor which burrows into the bee and compromises with its immunity system.
- The bees themselves sensed that they are ill and hence did not return back to the hive to save other bees from being infected.
We are yet to find the exact reason for the fall or could be a combination of all of the above causes. What is alarming is, bee populations is still dwindling down and we need to address this severe issue.
What can we do?
We can take small steps and do our bit to get out of this catastrophe. Always remember, if bees disappear so do we! Here are ways in which we can help –
- Plant a bee friendly tree. Let it be in your yard, your garden or even your balcony. Even one plant can help.
- Keep water outside. They are thirsty most of the times, keep a bowl of water outside a window or in your patio.
- Stress on buying organic. Buy organic honey to support the beekeepers and local farmers growing organically.
- Reduce the use of pesticides. Judiciously make use of pesticides. Not just for farming but even in our backyard gardens.
- Learn how to be a beekeeper with sustainable practices. You can check Bee Keeper India, Arya Gramodyog Sanstha and National Bee Board to name a few.
Let’s make a promise to mother earth for the year 2017 – We will nurture and save our bees!