Bee Crisis

Bee Crisis – Beekeepers Try To Help Bees!


Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - Pupa covered with Varroa Mites

For some time now there has been for greater awareness of the plight of honeybees the need for firm action, to be taken to prevent their decline. At present Honeybees around the world are dying and no one really knows why. There are various possible causes currently being researched (Australian, is one country to be affected by this problem.) There have been numerous save the bees campaigns throughout the world. It is critical for us to help people to understand bees are indispensable for food production and their demise even affects so many aspects of our live including what we wear. The loss of plants means the loss of fruits and vegetables and if the animals we eat cannot find plants to feed on either. The animals will die out too, so then what do we eat?

Some believe in the past four years, over 30 billion bees have disappeared due to a mysterious phenomenon that scientists are calling, “Colony Collapse Disorder.” In the United States alone, bees acting as commercial all pollinators are valued at $15 billion annually.

As of right now 2010 is being called the worst year yet for honeybee numbers and early reports show that the mysterious aliment may be a key component in the huge losses. If agricultural demand continues to exceed the rapidly depleting global stock of domestic strong Honeybees, the world will look very different on the food front. The Human Pathology Department at the Federal Government studied the issue the last couple of years and one of the surprising finds was that Honeybees in the 

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - Lots of dead beescollapse areas were suffering from malnutrition. This was not an expected finding but more research needs to be done.

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeeper’s Association is working to have the same focus of the rest of the world and we are trying to care for the health and sustainability of bees in our local area. The bee decline is of concern to everyone as it should be. The colony environment is vital for the survival of bees. There are many different factors that contribute to the health of the bees.


Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - Queen bee with nursing bees all around herEach bee depends on the others in the colony for survival. For example, the Queen cannot forage or even feed herself. She relies on the workers to collect the nectar and to feed her royal jelly. Workers, though female, are infertile and cannot lay fertilized eggs. Without the Queen the colony would die out. Without Worker Bees to cover the comb and keep the larvae warm and feed them they would not survive. You can see by design Bees have the capability to care for all their needs but humans have created an environment in which these perfectly created insects are now at risk. Our goal is to help them to continue to survive despite the damage done to contribute to their demise.

Urgent action is needed to identify the causes of their decline and to reverse it. The European Commission is attempting to make progress to protect bees and to see what plans can be put in place to ensure their survival. They have already gleaned positive results. This is great news and it shows people are working to ensuring the health of bees. This critical situation has gotten world wide attention. The debate focuses on pesticides and pesticide-active substances and these are being evaluated at community level. Even Beekeepers in our area have been involved in a Belgium study in Schuylkill County.

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - Africanized bee flying in the mid airSurvival of the bees is as essential to our food production and natural environment. One third of our food requires pollination by insects. Bees are disappearing from our landscapes. The sensitive, delicate nature of the bee’s physicals systems have left them wide open to the often fatal effects of man’s current agricultural methods, pesticides and other pollutants.

There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, though many are undesirable and the actual number is probably higher. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, any area contains insect-pollinated flowering plants. Bees feed on nectar and pollen. Nectar is the primary energy source and the pollen is an essential protein and contains other nutrients, most of the pollen collected is used as food for larvae.

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeeper’s Association welcome you to join us in helping bees to help people. These amazing creatures need our help and it is truly vital to the survival of the human race. The bees help to feed the world but for now they need our help.

Help Out By Becoming a Backyard Beekeeper

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - White House hive contributing to the bee crisisOver the years, our diets have increased the demand for a constant stream of all-season fruits and veggies. Such demand has not bypassed the bees. It has turned bee pollination into a year-round service and beekeeping into a commercial industry. There are half as many Beekeepers as there were two decades ago, and the remaining Beekeepers are mostly large-scale pollination services with thousands of hives and millions of bees. There was a time when beekeeping was much more of a hobby than a commercial industry. Joining the ranks of backyard Beekeepers can not only revive a dying hobby but it can strengthen the bee gene pool by adding healthy local bees to the mix.

If you are interested in becoming a backyard Beekeeper, experts recommend starting with a local Beekeeper’s Association to learn about keeping bees alive and healthy. It is important that bees are adapted to the local climate, so you will want to start with a local source for bees. Aside from contributing to the bee population, just two hives can pollinate an entire mid-sized residential garden. You might just find yourself with a lifelong hobby. For most people, beekeeping grows into a passion.

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - Hive with mulitple supers on a large hiveIf you decide to pass on becoming a beekeeper. You can help out by merely having a backyard bee garden to provide nourishment for the bees. With rapid urban development limiting their foraging areas backyard gardens can offer a welcome supply of nectar and pollen for Honeybees.

Cultivating plants that will attract bees is the most important task of a bee gardener. Choose flowers that bloom successively over the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association -Bee hive components of a hive bodyIf you are not sure what to choose, you can always check with a local garden center for their advice on “bee-friendly” flowerless. To improve bee visitation, the garden should contain large patches of like flowers planted in close proximity to one another. Diversity is a key factor in keeping bee gardens buzzing. Researchers have found more bees will be drawn to gardens with ten or more species of attractive plants.

As you diversify your garden, keep part of it wild because bees prefer that to a manicured space. Go for a “planted by nature” effect rather than a perfectly pruned garden. Remember: bees do not discriminate between weeds and cultivated flowers, so let those dandelions grow.

And of course keep your bee garden free of pesticides, which can be a danger in any garden. Some pesticides can kill the bee before it returns to the hive; other pesticides get carried back and can harm the rest of the hive.

If, after all of your hard work, you are still not seeing bees in your garden, it is not a wasted effort. Growing a pesticide-free garden is also good for you if you’re growing fruits and vegetables. Gardening brings the grower closer to nature and closer to realizing what grows is more nutritious and tasty than the perfect, unblemished, and perhaps pesticide-covered” produce available at your local market.


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