Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Value Your Neighborhood Bees and Fight Colony Collapse Disorder

The alarming decline in the bee population caused by the widespread and mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder has disrupted millions of dollars worth of agriculture around the world, and if it continues, could threaten the food system as we have always known it.

Scientists have attributed CCD to a variety of factors, including the Varroa Destructor mite, which may have got a foothold due to building chemical resistance and evolution.

Besides breeding your own bees organically in your apartment, what can you do? A couple of things. From Herb Companion:

In 2006, beekeepers in the United States (and other parts of the world) noticed a dramatic decline in honey bee populations, a phenomenon now known as “colony collapse disorder.” The problem affects more than local beekeepers’ profits. Acting as an invisible but critical link to our food supply, bees pollinate about $15 billion worth of U.S. seeds and crops annually, according to a Cornell University study, including more than one-third of our nation’s food supply. In fact, most of our vitamin- and mineral-rich food—including berries, almonds and fruits—would disappear without bees.

[…]

What can we do? First, avoid using pesticides, [Dr. Jay] Evans says. Also, although about 1 million blossoms are needed for bees to make a small amount of honey, feeding your local bees with fresh herbs is a positive step. [Ross] Conrad [author of Natural Beekeeping] suggests planting bee-friendly forage, such as mint, cilantro, coriander, thyme and rosemary, in your garden. To keep your local bees healthy, you also can feed bees honey, the preferred food for bees, or herbs, such as chamomile, thyme and red clover, made into a tea and mixed with sugar syrup.

Don’t be afraid of your neighborhood bees—instead, learn to value them. Rather than destroy their nests, create a solitary box for them to set up home. (Visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/backyard/wildhab.html for more information.) Remove them only if they’ve become a true nuisance by contacting a local beekeeper.

Read the whole article here.

Related articles:


How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

The 10 Steps that Establish Your Baby’s Microbiome

Research is emerging almost daily on the role of the microbiome in human health. But how do we acquire this mysterious community of microbes and more importantly how do we make sure the good bacteria outnumber the bad? According to a new book by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, Your Baby’s Microbiome, it all starts […] Read More

Prepare! Keep a Grab-n-Go Survival Kit Handy

Are you prepared in the event of a sudden emergency? Blizzard, earthquake, insurrection after the inauguration? We know a lot of people are wondering what’s coming next in the US, as well as the world, given terrorism, politics, and global warming, among other threats. In this excerpt from When Technology Fails, a popular book on […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More
+1
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin