What is it:
- poisoning from pollinating pesticide treated crops
- poor nutrition from altered foraging patterns/lack of diversified food sources
- increased presence of the honey bee pest varroa mites
- new viruses targeting bee immune systems
Why is it important:
Bees aren’t just busy pollinating flowers, they are the unsung heroes in food systems across the globe, pollinating many crops for human consumption. In the United States our industrial food system is supported by a network of bee keepers who truck bees up and down highways pollinating everything from Maine blueberries to Florida oranges and California almonds. Without them, food supplies world wide are in danger of collapsing.
And CCD isn’t just happening to bees in the United States, honey bees in The UK have been reportedly suffering from CCD and in 2011 the United Nations issued a statement declaring CCD a global concern reaching from US beekeepers to Chinese beekeepers.
What can we do:
- Urge secretary Tom Vilsack of the US Department of Agriculture to continue to fund research to combat CCD using this online messaging system from the National Resources Defense Council. (Tip- customize the message, tell Tom Vilsack why this issue is important to you, for maximum impact!)
- Read these tips from the NRDC on how to make a bee-friendly garden and which pesticides are commonly known to impact bee health. Inform other gardeners and farmers in your community of the pesticides on the list!
- Learn to keep bees (even in the city) to add to a growing number of small scale bee keepers invested in healthy honey bees across the globe!
- Read about what the EPA is doing to protect honey bees in the United States.
Written by EarthAction Intern Walker Dunn
Sources and Further Information:
Middle Photo by: Dan Solely (c) turtlephoto.org