Bees Are on the Decline… What Can You Do to Help?
Bees have suffered a dramatic decline in the last two decades due to habitat loss and degradation, disease, pathogens and harmful pesticides. In the U.S., the annual value of honeybee pollination can be counted in billions of agricultural dollars. Bees pollinate about 400 of the world’s agricultural plants and one-sixth of the world’s flowering plant species. Poorly pollinated plants produce fewer fruits and lower yields of seed, with inevitable consequences in the areas of quality, availability and food prices. Pollinator decline is a global trend. A recent global assessment sponsored by the United Nations suggests that nearly 40 percent of invertebrate pollinator species are facing extinction.
Given the crucial role that honeybees play in the world’s ecosystems, bee conservation and preservation efforts to reverse this decline are necessary. Concerned individuals can take action and become part of the solution by implementing a few effective measures, including the following:
Become a beekeeper. Before getting started, one should attend several beekeeping classes and get acquainted with other successful beekeepers to receive advice and helpful guidance. A good resource to find valuable information, scheduled events and classes is the website SCMidStateBeekeepers.org.
Refrain from the use of pesticides and herbicides. Some pesticides and herbicides are toxic to bees. To protect bee populations, weed removal can be done by hand. When cutting the grass, homeowners should keep in mind that while clover and dandelions are thought of as weeds, these plants are actually a great food source for bees. Other plants and vegetables considered to be great nutritional food sources for bees are cantaloupe, cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, sunflowers, zinnias, geraniums, roses, rosemary, sage, thyme, mint and lavender.
Correctly extract and remove unwanted bee colonies from a structure or property. Bees can often be found in walls, roofs, chimneys or sheds. If a bee colony is found in the home or on an individual’s property, then a professional bee-removal service that is both safe and effective is necessary. A beekeeper or qualified removal service would need to extract the bees and then bee-proof the property by removing any honey and comb, which would attract other bees, so as to prevent future colonies from forming. Colony removal often proves to be costly and can take as many as two to three removal treatments.
The Earth needs its pollinators, and by taking a few corrective measures as environmental stewards, bee populations around the world will greatly benefit and bounce back for the good of all.
For more information on bee protection, conservation, and safe and effective colony removal, contact Jeremy Hallman, owner of Scouter Branch Farms, at 803-917-2148 or ScouterBranchFarms@gmail.com.Edit ModuleShow Tags