You didn’t misread, this is about bees. Bees that buzz, not a spelling competition for young brainiacs, and it was not a typo talking about a cold beer either.
The humble bumble bee
If you have ever been sat in a beer garden on a sunny Summer’s afternoon, you know it is one of the great pleasures of life. Perhaps some food, surely a few cold beverages, it’s a great way to pass a lazy afternoon.
You will also know that there will bees around. Buzzing here and there, always interested in your food and drink. The usual response is to catch them (usually in an upturned glass), kill them or just shoo them away.
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Whatever your preferred method of bee prevention is, it’s worth noting that bee numbers are rapidly declining and we need to be doing more to protect our honey producing friends.
Honey bees on the decline but who is counting?
It is reported that 40 percent of honeybee hives die each year, which costs the beekeeping industry more than $2 billion every year. (Did you know the beekeeping industry was worth more than $2 billion?)
When I first read information like that, am always skeptical, I mean has someone gone round the country counting bees? It’s a difficult task as they never stay still for long (anyone with a rolled up newspaper having attempted to swat one will testify to that). You could easily count the same bee twice . And it’s always a suspiciously round number. Ten million of that, 16.5 billion of that. I think there has been some lazy rounding at play. Anyway, I digress and colony collapse disorder is a real thing.
Keep The Hives Alive
Keep the Hives Alive Tour, designed to raise awareness of the plight of the bees, is coming to the nation’s capital. They are bringing a truck full of dead bees to highlight this, and plan to campaign to the EPA, the USDA and Congress, to take action.
They come armed with a petition signed by millions of people demanding urgent action to protect the bee and its natural habitat. The tour is comprised of beekeepers, farmers, scientists and food advocates.
National Pollination Week
The arrival in Washington DC is coincided with National Pollination Week (which is a thing). The week-long celebration of all things pollinating takes place June 20 – June 26, designed to increase understanding of the causes of our declining pollination populations.
The week’s activities focuses not just on bees, but also incorporates birds, butterflies, bats and beetles, a wonderful collection of animals beginning with the letter B.
Before arriving in Washington DC the Keep the Hives Alive tour has taken in the cities of California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina
Greater action to preserve honey bees and their habitats
The message they are keen to get across is that greater action needs to be taken against toxic pesticides that are being used, which are harming the bees. A more sustainable method of farming required.
They point out that the pollinating role of the bee, if taken away, will affect our food systems.
I’ve always found the bee a fascinating creature. It makes honey, and I’m certainly a big fan of that. There is a queen and no king, meaning the feminist agenda is alive and kicking, which I respect.
But what has always intrigued me the most is that the bee’s main defense is its sting, yet this method of defense also kills the bee? A cruel twist of nature surely.
That said, and all joking aside, the bee, like every animal is an important part of the ecosystem. Peoples livelihoods are dependent on the animal, so we should be doing more to keep our buzzing friends alive, even if nature doesn’t seem to be helping… Now buzz off.