BCB Honey Farm just celebrated the World Bee Day on May 20th, 2021 and to raise awareness of the importance of Bees as pollinators, and the threats they face, we've decided to share this article.
Simply put, we need bees because they pollinate 1 in 3 bites of food we eat, which makes them crucial for our ecosystems. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 bee species are at risk for extinction and the 4,000 native bee species are declining. Beekeepers are reporting losing about 40% of their honey bees each winter, which is double the normal rate.
These numbers are alarming, so it’s crucial to know why they’re suffering and how we can save the bees. Read on to learn why the bee population is in trouble and how we can help.
Why The Bees Are in Trouble
Many different factors are causing the bee population to decline. The three most prevalent causes are:
1. Loss of Habitat
Bees used to have a lot of natural land to use to create hives and forage for nectar. Unfortunately, a lot of previous natural habitats have been urbanized, which makes it more difficult for bees to thrive. Not only does it take away their habitat, but it makes it more difficult for bees to travel and find mates with genetic diversity.
Researchers from UC Davis found that habitat loss combined with pesticides greatly affects the number of bee offspring. Bees are exposed to pesticides when they consume and pollinate flowers and when they come in contact with dust or dew droplets that have been treated with pesticides. The most popular form of pesticides, called neonicotinoids, is highly toxic to individual bees and has devastating impacts on hives and the whole bee population.
3. Parasites and Diseases
Bees are particularly vulnerable to mites and fungal gut parasites. Mites transmit diseases between bees and are more common than researchers expected. They feed on bee larvae and implant viruses when the bee emerges. The deadly Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus is also more common since 2010.
How We Can Help
Luckily, we can help save the bees by giving them the resources they need to grow healthy and strong again. We can do this by growing gardens, reducing pesticide use, and supporting beekeepers.
1. Plant Flowers
Bees need plants that are rich in pollen and nectar to thrive. You can easily provide those by planting a garden that gives bees a safe habitat to pollinate. The great thing about planting flowers is you don’t need a large space to grow them. You can grow them in flower pots, window boxes, planters, or in the ground.
2. Don’t Use Chemicals On Your Plants
Pesticides are toxic to bees. Treat your own plants with natural solutions and organic products to keep bees coming back to your garden. You can find ladybugs and praying mantises at your local garden centers to keep pesky bugs away without harsh chemicals.
3. Support Your Local Beekeepers
As local beekeepers, we are doing all we can to nurture our honeybees to provide honey for our community. At BCB Honey Farm, we offer a variety of honey including raw, liquid, and infused honey that is produced from flowers found in the lower Mainland and Northern British Columbia. Try out our multi-award winning honey by visiting our honey farm and downtown store and help support our bees.
We need bees to play their part as pollinators because otherwise, food would become scarce or harder to grow. Luckily, you can help protect bees by making environments safer for them and supporting beekeepers. You can support our bees by purchasing our award winning, delicious, local unpasteurized honey from BCB Honey Farm.