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Dennis vanEngelsdorp says

Bee loss is a huge problem that has existed for years now, recently over 30 percent of our bee colonies was lost in just one year. Dennis vanEngelsdorp is trying to inspire us to think about what we have lost due to our reckless behavior and repair what we have broken. Dennis is an Acting State Apiarist who works for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. He is concerned about the amount of bees we have lost over the past years and believes it would be much harder to survive without bees. In his talk he explains how about 30 percent of our colonies have been lost over the winter, the hardest time for a bee to live. It is not uncommon that most loss has occurred during the winter but it is this astounding amount that we have lost that makes it evident that we should tone down our destruction of environmental figures. Varroa mites and Colony Collapse Disorder have greatly contributed to the loss of bees. Another environmental disturbance, this time caused by man, is how bees are moved to the almonds during the timespan of December to February. The almonds is a terrible place for bees to be because of the lack of flowers, the bees cannot pollinate and therefore cannot survive. Dennis vanEngelsdorp says “describe this not as beehives but as a graveyard”, the beehives in the almonds become empty because of the dying bees. Another disease hurting our colonies’ numbers is the Israeli Acute Paralysis found by a man from Israel. IAP is not the only disease hurting our bee quantity, there are many other diseases affecting bees that need to be researched. For some reason bees are now more susceptible to disease which encourages these disease to come about infecting bees People may think that this loss of bees is directly related to pesticides but with recent research we found that pesticides are barely in the picture, even some of the healthiest hives are found to be surrounded with pesticides. This is very strange and confusing to people who know how bad pesticides are for bees, but it’s not too big of a problem to worry about. If you tend to lose your hive to these diseases there are some easy ways to repair the dead-out. You can even split your hive in half and buy another queen for the half missing one. The queen will come in the mail from either Australia, Hawaii or Florida and you do not have to worry about the post office not accepting it because in America it is illegal to not send a package of bees. In Fact, America was the first country to support bee delivery through mail. Not only can you order a queen bee through post, you can also ask for a 3 pound package of bees to be delivered to you if you ever come across a dead-out. If you cannot afford to replace a dead-out you can get in touch with any beekeeper that is willing to lend you some bees. With all this help with colonies it is not surprising that American beekeepers hold a total of 2.4 million hives. With so many people with passion for bees you would think that the loss of bees would be countered. There are even commercial beekeepers that are even more devoted to keeping bees than regular beekeepers. But the problem with the commercial beekeepers is they only give their bees away for money. If you rely on support from commercial beekeepers to fill dead-outs than you will lose money very quick and with recent loss you would be broke in about 2 years. To stop climate from affecting your hives and making you spend all your money you must move your bees around a lot which is not a cheap task. You can meet up with other beekeepers to go over the routine and figure out where your bees will take you next. Even with all the amount of help between beekeepers it is still surprisingly hard to maintain your bees. You may ask “Why is beekeeping so important” and there are many answers to that question but one main answer is that bees create an important ethical sweetener called honey. It is said that one in every three bites of food we eat is either directly or indirectly related to bees and most of that is because of honey. Honey is made from pollen which is made first by them fertilizing the nearby plants and then getting paid in pollen for their help with the bloomation. The bees get the pollen from the plant by creating static electricity with their legs making it possible to receive the pollen. With this process it takes quite a long time to fertilize plants, collect the pollen and then use it to make make honey, it becomes hard to keep up with our bee related product consumption. This creation of honey is different depending on what type of bee is making it, some may use a similar method but every species have a different way of generation. There are many different species of bees, more than the amount of mammals and birds combined, in fact over 400 species of bees have been identified in Pennsylvania alone. But 32 of these Pennsylvanian species have either disappeared or gone extinct since 1950, which is a sign we are losing bees. Each one of these species are different but these all revolve around 3 main species, bumblebees, sweet bees and kleptoparasites. Bumblebees are eusocial which means only the queen interacts with other hives, sweet bees are very important in fertilization and honey generation and can be seen flying more commonly than a bumblebee and kleptoparasite is another way of saying bad-minded or murdering. The reason these kleptoparasites are named this way is because they have a very strange way of laying eggs. First they drill holes near another hive and fill the hole with pollen. Then they lay eggs in the hole and wait for the mother of the hive they are stalking to fly away. Next they eat the mothers eggs out of the hive and replace them with their own eggs. Sadly these interestingly evil kleptoparasites’ species have been more commonly going extinct along with some bumblebee species. With the extinction of bees many important species may go missing and we must stop that from happening. If bees go extinct luckily we have one other common pollinator on this planet, but this one is much harder to work with. With bats the diseases are much worse and are harder to cure, one of the main diseases wiping out bats is white-nose syndrome. In fact, if a cave in New York had 15000 bats 3 years ago it now would probably have about 1000 bats left. With bat research being much harder we may lose our bats before our bees. Nature Deficit Disorder causes most of our bee problems and with no other simple pollinator we need to keep NDD from happening. One simple way to lower the NDD rate is to have a meadow instead of a lawn because meadows are much more environmental than a lawn and allow flowers to grow that can help bees pollinate. It is believed that the loss of bees may be connected to the popularity of lawns nowadays. Only two or three hundred years ago it was uncommon to find a lawn except in front of a rich house. This is because of the hard work lawns are to sustain, in 2001 11% of pesticides used were used on lawns and 5% of greenhouse gases was made from mowing lawns. We would be better off if we did not spend so many resources on lawns, Dennis suggests we keep a limited amount of lawns and convert as much lawn as possible into meadows. If you cannot grow a meadow then you can just help stop NDD by planting flowers around for bees to pollinate. No matter what you do to stop NDD it will greatly enhance our future.

Beesaver Goodman
5 years ago