Stone fruits, like cherries, peaches, and nectarines,are pollinated by honeybees. Also peppers, sweet, juicy melons, succulent strawberries, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins, are also harvested thanks to the honeybee.
Because of the bees, we are able to prepare:
The foods that we all use the most in our cooking and baking are possible because of the bee. With other pollinators, like butterflies, humming birds , and bats, the bee helps pollinate 100 crops just in the U.S., and that equals to $15 billion worth of pollinated food.
Bee’s are declining since 1994, first noted in France with the use of pesticides on their sunflower seed crops. France has now outlawed the use of any pesticides what so ever to be used on any crop, they also will not import food that is pollinated by bees were pesticides were used.
By 2006 the United States has experienced what is now called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) by scientists, in 35 states. The collapse is due to the pesticides that are used on crops that bees pollinate.
The use of pesticides has compromised the immune system of the bee. When a bee leaves the hive to find flowers to pollinate, it will return to the hive and let other bees know were the pollen is, by doing a dance. But since their immune system is not functioning well, they are either not able to find their way back to the hive, or if they do, they can’t dance to instruct were the pollen is located.
NATURE – Silence of the Bees – Inside the Hive – PBS
The winter of 2012 lost 33% of all beehives. Scientist are saying that just in the U.S. alone, the declining bee population is very soon going to be unable to meet the pollination needs of the country. What does that mean? Bees pollinate 80% of the crops in the U.S., which is about 1/3 of what we eat.
Have you noticed lately how clothing that used to be 100% cotton is now mixed with other fibers? The reason being , bees pollinate cotton, and with their decline, cotton is becoming harder to seed and grow to produce cotton.
Even the beef and dairy farms will become effected as bees pollinate 60% of the alfalfa used to feed the animals.
What can we personally do to help stop Colony Collapse Disorder? You might think, your only one person, so not much. But there are 5 things you can do.
1. Plant Things That Bees Like: If you want to support the many different varieties of bees which buzz through your yard, plant some things which will feed them, like sage, salvia, oregano, lavender, iron weed, yarrow, yellow hyssop, alfalfa, honey wort, dragon head, echinacea, bee balm, buttercup, goldenrod, and English thyme.
2. Provide Bees a Habitat: A secure place to live is crucial to all bees. Honeybees live in waxy hives, there are other natural bees that make use of many kinds of shelter, such as abandoned animal burrows, dead trees and branches and in underground nest tunnels.
What can you do? Help wood-nesting bees by setting out in the yard a few inexpensive bee blocks. Bee blocks are blocks of wood with holes of different sizes. Provide a mound or two of loose earth, and close to a water source if possible.
3. Eliminate Using Garden Pesticides: Investigate organic and natural means of pest control, at your local garden shop,or on line. You could even visit city hall to ask what natural pesticides the city uses on the public garden areas. Visit OrganicGardenPests.com for some great ideas. Vibrant, chemical-free gardens are a warm and friendly welcome to any of natures wild bees.
Seeding plants are the bee’s best chance to stock food before the colder months.
During the winter is when Colony Collapse Disorder is most common.
5. Support Local Beekeepers: Search out your local beekeepers and buy honey from them. They no doubt treat the bees responsibly and use no pesticides in their fields.
If you do by honey at the local market, by it at a health food store like Wholefoods Market or Natural Grocers, who only stock honey from beekeepers who use environmentally responsible practices with their beehive colonies.
There are things we can all do, though small, to keep the bees buzzing, so we are able to buzz around our kitchens to prepare cooked and baked nutritious foods that were first pollinated by a bee.
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