Bees

This afternoon I finally had chance to watch the film Vanishing Of The Bees. My original plan for this blog had been to say how much I liked the minimal packaging and why can’t all dvds be packaged this way, saving much needed space in my little house and also hugely reducing the amount of plastic required.

But….

I have been shocked by the dvd, things happen to bees that I was not aware of.

Like most people I know bees are needed for the pollination of many plants that we humans and our animals need for food. I know that there are commercial bee keepers who move their hives around to help farmers pollinate their crops. I know there are growing numbers of hobby bee keepers and I know it’s not exactly cheap to start off keeping bees.  These things I know, these things I accept.

But….

What I can’t accept is that bees are transported thousands of miles on the back of a truck to pollinate a crop. The hives are loaded back onto a truck after their job is done and moved to pollinate another crop again thousands of miles away. To me at least, this seems wrong, why can’t more local bees be used for pollination? It would seem the answer to that is monoculture, the growing of just one plant for as far as the eye can see. Once the bees have pollinated all these flowers there is no more food for them and this is why they have to be moved thousands of miles to pollinate and feed.

I can’t accept that still no one knows what causes Colony Collapse Disorder, where a once healthy thriving hive is suddenly abandoned by the bees leaving it empty. This CCD has been going on for years but it seems that little has been done in terms of research. I’m quite sure that if cows suddenly upped and left the farm and couldn’t be found that something would have been done by now. From the research carried out so far all the results seem to show that pesticide accumulation within the hive is the cause of CCD. We still need more research into this and it needs to be done now, before it’s too late.

On average a Queen bee lives 1-5 years but in the huge commercial bee keeping world she’ll live for a year and then be squished! She’ll also have been artificially inseminated so that she’ll produce a certain type of bee characteristic that the commercial bee keeper requires! I found that quite shocking.

I love bees, I’ve toyed with the idea of keeping bees for many years. I’ve taken a step closer to that by starting to read more about what it entails. I know I can’t just put a hive of bees in my garden and then sit back all year to let the bees do their thing. They have to be checked on a regular basis. This year I intend to do more research into bee keeping to see if I can do it, to see if my garden is suitable and if so where is the best place to site the hive. I need to check that my landlady has no objections and to try and find out what pesticides are used on this farmland.

In the meantime I shall garden organically in spite of what goes on around me, I shall plant more bee friendly plants that last from early spring to late autumn, I shall write,email and generally get on the nerves of the local and county councils to find out what they are doing to help bees. I shall continue to get in touch with the prospective Parliamentary Candidates for my area to find what their views are with regard to bees. I shall, as always, leave part of my garden wild with lots of hiding places for all sorts of bugs, birds and creatures. I’ll also be asking my husband to help make bee and insect boxes, we’ll even make some to give to family to help spread the word.

Without the bees to pollinate our crops we’ll have a very limited diet, as someone on the film said if you go to Macdonalds all you’ll get is the bread, although many may argue the bread is the tastiest part but that’s by the by ;-) Please if you can do something to help the bees, they’re only little but they work so hard for us so that we can eat a huge variety of foods.

If you only have a window you can still put a pot of flowering herbs there to attract bees.

If you have a garden plant a wide range of native plants which will encourage healthy bees and insects.

If you’re on Twitter follow Damian who is known as @HelpSaveBees as he tweets some great links, tips and advice to help save bees.

Anything you can do will help.

Thanks for reading and please help the bees :-)

3 Comments »

  1. Steven L Shaw said,

    February 4th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Thank you for a great article I also love bees and have been thinking about how things are going with the bee loss — Your passion for bee is a great asset — I have 10 acres and would like to have some bee hives — but time is a challenge

  2. admin said,

    February 4th, 2010 at 11:51 am

    There maybe people local to you who could put bee hives on your land. They look after the bees so it won’t take up your time.

    Have look at this link for landshare
    http://landshare.channel4.com/how-it-works

    Or even tell the twitter world you have land for bee hives and see what happens.

    Thanks for your kind comment too :-)

  3. WC #4 said,

    April 9th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    [...] If you want to know why I got excited to see my first bee for the year look here. [...]

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