I wanted to do a TedTalk today. It’s about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in bees. It’s a very serious issue confronting bees. Scientists are not sure exactly what causes these sudden decreases in bee populations. The lecturer, Dennis vanEngelsdorp, hypothesizes that CCD is most likely due to a combination of issues including viruses and pesticides. About 30% of colonies are lost every year. This is tragic for beekeepers, as well as expensive . It costs a lot of money to replace “dead out” colonies. Normally keepers will split existing colonies and buy a new queen bee, but this practice cannot be sustained for more than three years in a row. Bees are major players in pollinating crops. VanEngelsdorp estimates one out of every three bites of food we eat was directly or indirectly pollinated by bees. There are also other species, like bats, that play key roles in pollination. Bat populations are also rapidly declining because of habitat change and diseases like White Nose Syndrome.
I didn’t know there are so many species of bees. Apparently there are over 400 species in Pennsylvania alone. I also enjoyed the tidbit about bees sticking with one crop. I didn’t think when bees went out pollinating they would stick with the same crop or flower for the whole trip. Finally, I think vanEngelsdorp was right to address Nature Deficit Disorder. I’ve mentioned this mindset before. It refers to how people are losing their connection with nature. We need to increase interest in nature and let people’s love for nature mature, like a fine wine! Also, I’m going to support the use of honey as a sweetener. I use it all the time. It is natural and easier for your body to process than over-processed sugar. Apparently I should just start a hive and make my own! Could be a fun project!