Bees Are Disappearing. You Can Help Them Return
A vital link in our food chain is disappearing, but you can be a part of the solution in your own backyard.
Poisonous pesticide, killer zombie bees, deadly plagues.
Sounds like the premise to a cheesy horror film, right? According to scientists, these are a few of the reasons bees are mysteriously vanishing around the world. This problem came to light around 2006, when the term “colony collapse disorder” was coined to describe the sudden decrease in honeybee colonies in North America. Beekeepers across the Atlantic also reported dramatic losses.
Bees may be known for stinging people and producing honey, but they also play a vital role in our food supply by pollinating the plants we eat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that since 2010 one-third to one-fifth of our honeybee colonies have disappeared. Consider the impact on our food supply if one-third to one-fifth of our fruit and vegetable plants were not pollinated.
How to Help
The solution could quite literally be in your own backyard.
- Become a Beekeeper: Urban and backyard beekeeping is on the rise, gaining ground in the unlikeliest of places. At the Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Washington state, prisoners learn to maintain colonies as part of the Sustainability in Prisons Project. Here is a guide to starting a backyard colony.
- Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden: Not ready to host a hive? Help host bees while beautifying your outdoor space by incorporating native plants. In the Pacific Northwest, these include trillium, wood sorrel, thrift and tiger lily.
- Adopt a Garden: Seattle artist Sarah Bergmann is the mastermind behind The Pollinator Pathway, a project to transform streetside planting strips into mini gardens providing food and habitat to bees and other pollinators. Local citizens can participate by tending a garden or contributing to the project through donations. Consider this concept in your community.
- Don't live in the Pacific Northwest? The non-profit group Pollinator Partnership provides region-specific planting guides.
To learn more about our buzzing friends, see "Vanishing Bees," the 2009 documentary produced by Scientific American.
More Health Tips
Sometimes women who have been very careful about their eating habits during pregnancy may forget, during nursing, that their bodies are still the source of nutrition for their child.
Treating IBS symptoms could be as simple as changing the way you eat! Check out these 5 tips to ease your symptoms.
Making a baby isn’t always as easy as it seems. Studies examining the rates of infertility in the United States have estimated that 12-18% of couples are unable to conceive after 1 year of trying without the use of any contraceptive method.
Make good health decisions even when you're eating off a menu. Here are 5 tips to for a healthier you!
3 fool-proof ways to transform leftovers into new and exciting meals
Having trouble fitting in 5-9 serving of your daily vegetable needs? Don't worry - we'll help you sneak them in!