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Bee Population, Science?


#1

Do you know any scientists specializing in Bees?

It has been said in the last few years that bees are on the decline. More pests, more pesticides, more houses, less wetland, less grassland, less forest, fewer flowers bees are willing to gather nectar and pollen from, etc.

I also have to wonder if there are other factors to blame. The media for example. I remember 20+ years ago hearing about the “Africanized” Honey Bees. The media dubbed them “killer bees” because they were extra aggressive. Monsanto’s stocks went up, their sales went through the roof, exterminators got far more calls than before that, and the entire pesticides industry ramped up even more. The “Killer Bee” scare was on par with the movie Jaws and beach goers for the last 40+ years. It was nearly catastrophic for tourism for some oceanside towns and cities. People flat refused to go to the beach for DECADES afterwards. Similarly the “killer bee” thing came on thenews and every time a bee flew past someone’s head they started wondering if they were suddenly under attack by African Honey Bees.

The thing is, these African Honey Bees… what if they were simply evolution trying to fill a void left by humanity that European bees were not equipped to handle? What if the more agressive African Honey Bee is more resilient to pesticides and is less picky about what flowers they gather nectar and pollen from? What if the media screwed up an evolutionary cycle 20-25 years ago by terrifying housewives into calling down the Monsanto Wrath upon the wild beehive in the forest behind her house?

What if we have caused the decline of the European Honey Bee to the point that the African Honey Bee can migrate itself over here and the sheer population numbers of the European bees were the only thing keeping them at bay for generations? Could it be possible that when everyone and their Mother had a backyard garden that bee populations were the highest they have ever been? Are Bee populations and how low or high they are directly correlated to the onset of famine? Can the ebb and rise of bee populations be a sign that drought is coming or perhaps be caused by severe drought? Could our march of progess and our stupid movement away from backyard gardening and more towards growing grass everywhere be a direct cause of the decline of bees? Wasn’t there a President once before that gave tax subsidies if you had a backyard garden and grew your own food? Would not the bee population be higher during that time frame?

Amd what of other insects, birds, and other animals? If the bee disappears, crops and gardens stop being pollinated, birds run out of food, rodents runout of food because other animals and insects die off, then things like deer, wolves, coyotes, pigs, horses, … humans… start to slowly die off because of the lack of food.

We… the human population… are doomed without the bee.

We and the bee… are symbiotes of a sort. We rely on each other, indirectly at most, but without the bee, eventually everything on earth dies. And now we have affected the ecosystem and upset the balance by letting the MEDIA publish a story with an imflammatory headline of “Killer Bees” that is on par with the movie Jaws in how powerfully that one headline has affected our ecosystem. We are now the other half of the balance… the only way to fix it is to provide more habitat, more food sources, and use less harmful pesticides. We have affected the ecosystem to the point that now the bee relies on us to fix the system and bring it back to a level that is once again conducive to their continued survival.

It is a tri-fold problem. The Media started it, Monsanto ran with it, and our laziness sealed it. We must now reverse that damage…

… or our grand children… or possibly even our children themselves… might not LIVE to see old age.

Grow a food garden… not only can you eat from it, but so can the bees.

Pretty flowers are only good if pollinators and nectar gatherers are around to use them.
Grasses only good use is to keep the ground from sliding. Plant grass yes… but let the grass grow BETWEEN the furrows of your yard gardens. City ordinance says you can’t do that? Get your local community up in arms about it. It’s your land, your freedom to live how you wish… why should some politician have the say that you do not have the freedom to grow your own food? What grocery store is he/she embezzling from? What’s next… slavery?


#2

Wow, you must feel great having gotten that off your chest.

The media IS responsible for putting it out there that bee numbers are on decline. I don’t think that bee numbers are on as bigger decline as the media would have us believe.

I have a challenge for you: Put your name down for a nuc or a package of bees in the coming spring. You’ll have no trouble acquiring one, there may be a small delay in delivery, that’s it.

A lot of urban beekeepers, right across your country are run off their feet chasing swarms during swarm season.

You did mention “European” honeybees. EHB’s aren’t even native to the US. You should be more concerned about the loss of, or reduced numbers of native species of pollinators. Remember that native wasp species are also pollinators.

Growing food is great, however not all food we grow attracts bees. Coupled with growing food, people should also focus on planting native flowering species to attract native pollinators.


#3

Hi Jeff…I was reminded of your words tonight as I stuffed fallen hazelnuts into the pockets of my puffer jacket,


#4

There is absolutely masses of science
Considering you seem to have some fairly well developed angst you must have been living in a cave to not realise.
Start here


#5

Thank you Dee, that was a good watch (on a wintry, rainy day, a few days after a heat wave). The two audacious moves that I think would be relevant would be to discontinue the use of neonics & reclaiming some farmland to return to native bush.


#6

I with you Jeff. Seems there is more resolve to clearing native vegetation than there is to saving it.


#7

For any beekeeper with a spare one hour & 42 minutes, this video is really worth watching. It contains plenty to think about.

I told a bloke who bought a few colonies from me about the video yesterday. One of his colonies got real nasty. He’s in the process of dealing with it after some of my suggestions. I told him that in this video one of the audacious ideas was to not cull queens from cranky hives. :slight_smile: Anyway, the way he describes these bees, they sound Africanized. Basically unworkable, not good around houses or residential areas.

This bloke is a keen learner & is happy with the experience. I think his bee suit copped the brunt of the stings. Now he knows what people talk about when they talk about “hot hives”.


#8

Exactly right. Thank you.


#9

Bees in Puerto Rico…africanised…are reported to be getting less aggressive so there is something in this