Backyard Beekeeping may be a way to help save the honeybees.I also used to see bees just as annoying bugs buzzing around my garden at summer time. I was even afraid of them, thinking that if they saw me around they will just come and sting me. I was so wrong!
Bees, besides being hard-working, docile creatures that just sting as self-defense, are one of the more valuable little animals on earth. Without bees, many of the fruit and vegetables we like to eat would disappear of our table. No bees, no honey, no apples, no cantaloupes, no pears, no zucchini, no nuts, no pumpkin, no blueberries… and the list can go on and on. Bees pollinate one third of the food in our diet.
And now, honey bees are vanishing. They are dying at an incredible rate. More than the 50% of the bee colonies in the US have disappeared. And this is serious! If bees are at risk (and they are indeed), our food and our economy are also at risk. Every year, honeybees pollinate about billion dollars or more worth of crops in the United States, and they produce millions in honey. Less bees means less crop yield and increasing production costs.
What are the causes of the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)?
This massive disappearance of honeybees is called the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). What happens is that adult bees abandon their colonies and never return. The ones that leave die and the ones that stay too, so the colonies disappear. We don’t really know.
There are different theories trying to explain it, but it seems to be caused by a number of factors:
- Lack of bee-friendly habitats. It has become difficult for honey bees to find what they need to eat: flowers where to get pollen and nectar. This scarcity of flowers is due mainly to extensive farming, urbanization and planting in our gardens flowers that are not bee-friendly.
- Use of pesticides that are toxic for honey bees.
- Parasitic mites, as the Varroa, and other diseases. Those mites infest the colonies and kill the bees. When a colony is dying, bees from nearby hives break into the dying colony and steal their food, which is also contaminated, spreading the disease to their own hive.
- Global warming, which has caused flowers to bloom earlier than usual, while bees are hibernating.
Start backyard beekeeping. Even in cities like New York you are allowed to keep bees in your backyard or flat room. Beekeeping is a hobby that, although is not for everyone, can be very rewarding. To know more about how to start beekeeping, please, visit the beekeeping for beginners guide you can find in our web site: http://www.bee-beekeeping.com. Make our gardens bee-friendly. Bees need more bee-friendly places around where to go for food. Your garden can be one of those places.
I’m just someone who became a backyard beekeeper as a way to help save the honeybees. After a couple of years keeping bees, I have decided to set up a web site to encourage people to start beekeeping. Spread the word. More people knowing means more people helping and more bees saved.