Friday, March 18, 2011

Chapter 16 - Bee Positive

Be my honey!
As soon as the temperature gets above 57 degrees, bees head out of their hives and start foraging for food. As they forage, they pollinate the plants we eat. 

Without bees, there's no food.  We depend on bees for pollinating crops, keeping us green and, as a bonus, they treat us to yummy, sweet, nourishing honey.

Wild bee colonies are vital - not just as a back up to collapsing managed colonies but also as the natural order of things. Wild bees need to evolve and sustain themselves in their own way just like people do. Without wild colonies, managed colonies are only as good as they are healthy - and right now, they're not.

Love a Bee Keeper this week!
Bees have been on the decline in Virginia.  That's a major problem.  

Twenty years ago, it's estimated that there were 150,000 bee colonies - half of them wild.   Today the number of colonies has fallen to 40,000 - most of them managed.  This is a huge and dangerous shift.

This good news is that each day, we're coming closer to finding out what's killing our honey bees.   Some say it's disease.  Some say it's a change in our electro-magnetic field.   But whatever it is, it's time to look at bees as our companions in the garden.

Bees can't resist colorful flowers
It's easy to bring bees to your garden - just offer them something tasty to eat.  Plant colorful, nectar rich flowers like zinnias.  The bees will thank you with the great abundance they provide and you'll get lots of colorful flowers to look at.

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