What’s the Buzz

July 16, 2014

From cows and pigs to goats and chickens, even throwing quail and honey bees into the mix, mHoney Beesy family farm has had quite the variety of animals. A few years ago we had several bee boxes containing honey bees at one spot on the farm. The bees stayed for a couple of years and it was a neat experience to watch the honey drip into a container out of the honeycomb and have fresh honey.

One particular winter the weather was colder than usual {but with Indiana weather who can say what usual weather is} and my dad decided to go check on the bees. He wasn’t worried about the bees running out of food or surviving the winter; after all they are bees and can survive without the help of people. But when he opened the box the bees were dead. He moved to the next box and the same thing. It left him clueless as to if it was the harsh winter conditions or if there was another underlying cause. Over the past few years there has been a mysterious decline in the number of honey bee colonies. This decline has left many people wondering what the cause may be and if there is something that can be done to prevent this from happening.

According to the USDA about 35% of the world’s food crop depends on animal pollinators, such as bees, to help reproduce. This number translates into 1 of every 3 bites of food you eat is possible due to the pollination of bees, butterflies, etc. The big question is what is causing the large decreases of honey bees?

It is believed that the cause of the dramatic decrease is due to Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. At this time, little is known about this disorder other than it is the mysterious disappearance and dying of entire honey bee colonies. Honey bees are important because they are known as the greatest pollinating machine in agriculture. It is important to be aware of CCD due to the large influence honey bees play in pollinating plants which produce our food.

Bees are a vital factor in the pollination of plants.  Over the next few weeks and months, watch for related articles on the importance of bees.

“Journey with Nature.” The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy, n.d. Web.