Bees – One in Three Bites of Food You Eat Depends on Them

Bees are one of nature’s many pollinators for flowers and crops and are crucial in production for fruits and vegetables. USDA Photo by Forest Service.
Bees are one of nature’s many pollinators for flowers and crops and are crucial in production for fruits and vegetables. USDA Photo by Forest Service.

How do pollinators affect your life?

Well, if you’ve ever eaten a blueberry, chocolate bar or tomato, you can thank a pollinator. Pollinators are birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees. They are responsible for pollinating one out of every three bites of food we eat.But these invaluable creatures are facing declines. That’s why USDA agencies, other federal departments and partners share knowledge and collaborate on efforts to help increase awareness and tackle challenges facing pollinators.

Last month, the USDA launched a webcam that is literally buzzing with activity at the People’s Garden Apiary, located on the roof of USDA headquarters in Washington, DC. Observing these social insects at #USDABeeWatch is fascinating and addicting. If you’ve been watching then you probably have a lot of questions about honey bee behavior and beekeeping. You can meet their Beekeepers Nathan Rice and Andy Ulsamer virtually on Friday at Noon and ask them questions about what you’re seeing. Tweet to @USDA and use #USDABeeWatch. Feel free to send your questions ahead of time, and they will respond to as many as possible during the chat.

And that’s not all. If you are in or near (you can travel too) Washington DC, you and your family can learn how to support and protect pollinators of all kinds at the fifth annual Pollinator Week Festival at USDA on Friday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at USDA’s Farmers Market in Washington, DC along 12th Street between Jefferson Drive and Independence Avenue, SW. Buzz on over to learn from experts, watch live bees, participate in pollinator-friendly activities, and see what efforts, big and small, you can take in your own backyard to help pollinators.

USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative is pleased to host the Pollinator Week Festival with Pollinator Partnership. National Pollinator Week, June 16-22, events are happening all over the country. Find an event in your area!

What would our world look like without honeybees and other pollinators?

This is not just some “story” int eh news, this is a big deal. Pay attention ok? According to Dina Spector, who writes about science for the Business Insider,

Nearly one-third of the world’s crops are dependent on honeybees for pollination, but over the last decade the black-and-yellow insects have been dying at unprecedented rates both in the United States and abroad.”

Here’s an infographic that is that is saving saving hives and saving lives

According to BeesFree.biz, since the mid 2000s, honey bees have been mysteriously disappearing all throughout the world, leaving the future of much of the world’s food supply in question. The decline of bees could have an enormous impact on the environment, which is dependent on the insects for pollination. If there is no pollinating insect life, fruits, vegetables, and field crops would be obsolete and there would be extreme economical hardships for the farm and food industry. 

If that doesn’t make the importance of making sure pollinators such as bees are saved, even if that means sending a letter to your congressman or woman about Monsanto and other companies roles in killing the bees, then This Picture of Is What Your Grocery Store Looks Like Without Bees, will drive home the point.

with and without bees

According to Dr Mercola,

Genetic engineering of crops has also been blamed for dwindling bee populations. Monsanto, which is the leader in this type of biotechnology is likely none too pleased about the accusations, which, if found to be truthful through the dedicated application of research into the mystery, stands to lose just about everything—both their genetically engineered crop seeds and the pesticides/herbicides to go with them. It appears Monsanto has taken a proactive stance to the problem and is getting more involved—by purchasing one of the leading bee research firms…

A recent Activist Post article reports…

“Recently banned from Poland with one of the primary reasons being that the company’s genetically modified corn may be devastating the dying bee population, it is evident that Monsanto is under serious fire for their role in the downfall of the vital insects. It is therefore quite apparent why Monsanto bought one of the largest bee research firms on the planet.

It can be found in public company reports hosted on mainstream media that Monsanto scooped up the Beeologics firm back in September, 2011. During this time the correlation between Monsanto’s GM crops and the bee decline was not explored in the mainstream, and in fact it was hardly touched upon until Polish officials addressed the serious concern amid the monumental ban.

Owning a major organization that focuses heavily on the bee collapse and is recognized by the USDA for their mission statement of “restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination” could be very advantageous for Monsanto. In fact, Beelogics’ company information states that the primary goal of the firm is to study the very collapse disorder that is thought to be a result — at least in part — of Monsanto’s own creations.”

According to Dr. Fuhrman, of DiseaseProof.com, new devastating bee losses are affecting the food supply.

In recent years, you have most likely heard about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a mysterious and devastating loss of bee colonies in the U.S., Canada and Europe.  The first reports of these unexplained and catastrophic bee deaths began in 2006. In the 2006-2007 season, CCD affected about 23% of commercial U.S. beekeepers, and some beekeepers lost 90% of their hives. Since then, CCD has showed no signs of slowing; substantial yearly losses of bees, 30 percent or higher, have become the norm.1,2

Friends, here is the bottom line. Take this seriously.

Here are 10 things you can do to help the bees According to Queen of the Sun, that make perfect sense. Do what you can, even if you’re not going to become a beekeeper.

  1. Plant Bee Friendly flowers and flowing Herbs in your garden and yard.
  2. Recognize that weeds can be a good thing.
  3. Don’t use chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn and garden
  4. Buy local raw honey
  5. Bees are thirsty, put a basin of fresh water outside your home
  6. Buy local and organic from a farmer that you know
  7. Learn how to become a bee keeper with sustainable practices.
  8. Understand that honeybees are not out to get you.
  9. Share solutions with others in your community
  10. As stated above, let congress know what you think about protecting farmers and bees in the farm bill.

1. Grant B: Culprit of bee woes identified? 2007. The Scientist. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/25405/title/Culprit-of-bee-woes-identified-/. Accessed May 9, 2013.

2. Runckel C, Flenniken ML, Engel JC, et al: Temporal analysis of the honey bee microbiome reveals four novel viruses and seasonal 

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