Bees still doing it tough

I never really gave much thought to bees or many other of the other insects that share our planet until starting up Green Living Tips.

When researching about the mysterious bee affliction called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), it was only then I understood how important bees are in food production.

They give us so much more than just honey. Bees pollinate crops and are directly or indirectly responsible for as much as 30% of the U.S. food supply.

In the winter of 2008, 35.8 percent of commercial bee hives in America were wiped out. In the winter of 2008-2009, 29 percent.

33.8 percent of managed bee colonies were lost from October 2009 to April 2010, according to a survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Apiarists who reported some of their colonies perished without dead bees present, one of the signs of Colony Collapse Disorder, lost 44 percent of their colonies.

The survey covered under 25% of the country’s estimated 2.46 million colonies and only reports on winter losses only – it seems summer losses can be significant too.

All sorts of theories have been put forward about CCD – mites, pesticides, GMO crops, climate change and even electromagnetic radiation.

While not capturing the public’s imagination like some other threatened species, given we’d be hard pressed trying to get by without them, the problem probably requires more resources in order to firstly definitively identify what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder and then to (hopefully) deal with it.

Bees are a creature we simply cannot do without.

Learn more about bees and our food.