The truth of the matter is that human beings can survive in a world that has no honey. However, think of the grapes, avocados, pearls, almond and even wine for the lovers of this product. Most plants rely on natural pollinators like bees to produce some of the favorite and nutritious foods of nature.
The increased use of pesticides has put the life of most pollinators including a broad range of animals and insects under threat. Other threats to these pollinators include the loss of habitat, diseases, the emergence of foreign pests, and climatic changes just to name a few. The report from British Bee Keepers reveals that Bee keepers in the U.K lost close to 17 percent of their colonies between April 2015 and April 2016. The case was worse in the U.S as the farmer reported a loss of 44 percent during the same period.
The truth of the matter is that everyone has something to lose if we lose the bees whether you are a consumer, farmer, or beekeeper. Therefore, everyone has a significant role to play in the survival of this species.
Dale Gibson traded the early hours of his mornings as a stock broker at his urban bee farm close to twelve years back. He had eight bee hives at the roof of his house in Bermondsey, London. The bee hives were home to close to 200,000 bees alongside his prize-winning honey.
According to the London Bee Keeping Association, the greater London region had close to 3699 colonies and 2259 apiaries in 2015. The association believes that the number is even greater now that most people have chosen not to register.
There has been an increase in urban bee keeping in the UK but they find it hard to compete in the modern market that demands for cheap honey. This pattern is also evident in other parts of the world like the Vietnam. The county is among the largest honey exporters in Asia but bee keepers are finding it hard to maintain their colonies and make a reasonable living.
In the Hunyuan county of China, you will find apple and pear trees littering the landscape in abundance, but you will rarely come across buzzing bees. The lack of natural pollinators is forcing farmers to use hands to pollinate their crops.
They deposit a small amount of pollen on each flower using brushes that resemble feather dusters. It gives the plants a good chance to sprout fruits. The chemicals that farmers used to spray on their plants have rendered bees and other natural pollinators distinct. The U.S also experiences a shortage of natural pollinators. Farmers can truck bees over a distance of 3000 miles from Florida to California to assist in pollination. The demand of bees in California has led to an increase in the pricing of popular crops such as avocados and almonds. Renting a bee hive can cost a farmer between 10 to 180 dollars and some of them hire dozens of them every season.
Close to 33% of products that people eat result from the hard work of bees. According to FAO estimates, 84% of the 264-plant species in Europe require animal pollination. There also exists 4000 vegetable species that are pollinated by bees. Research from the University of Reading also reveal that bees contribute 805 million dollars towards the UK economy. Bees also contribute more than 14 billion dollars to the value of crops in the U.S. Therefore, the best way to assist bees is plant fruit trees, bushes, windflowers, and herbs in your garden.