Monday, April 30, 2007

Bees Aren't Just for Honey

Further update: "Rhode Island beekeepers have lost as many as 80 percent of their honeybees this season..." Most of our beekeepers have only a few hives. Larger keepers use theirs to pollinate orchards & farms (veggies & berries). Our two largest crops (ornamentals & sods) do not use pollination. The price of new bees for hives has gone up. "At Trail’s End Farm, in Richmond, Robar is about to build a bee barn where he can work through the winter to develop a new strain of honeybee that will thrive in New England’s climate and resist many of the illnesses and pests threatening bees." Honeybees are not native to America!

Update: some researchers are now linking the collapsing hives with cellphone use.
We need more research into cell phone usage & linkage with cancer. Some European nations prohibit use of these to children & teens. I see now that Disney is promoting the use of phones for young children. Many say that using your cell phone should always be done keeping it as far as possible from you (like using a headset or the speaker setting). It's also been linked in studies to lower sperm counts in males.

If bees were to disappear, man would only have a few years to live. — Albert Einstein

Honeybees are dying around the world and no one is exactly sure why. Beekeepers on the East Coast have seen 70% of their hives die while it's 60% on the West Coast. Some believe that it is a result of genetically engineered crops. Others that it's the result of a pesticide used to treat seeds.

Honeybees represent billions of dollars to the farm industry who use them for pollination.

I am wondering if any of the keepers locally have suffered any of these losses.


Anonymous said...

When I was a kid I really wanted to keep bees - I've always been really into gardening, and beekeeping seemed a natural extension of a beautiful and healthy landscape. Unfortunately, I'm allergic - and my devotion to apian survival does not trump my devotion to my own survival. Instead I try to include bee-friendly plants in my garden design; many of them are more commonly sold as attracting hummingbirds and butterflies, and are beautiful and native to Rhode Island. There was a story on NPR a couple of weeks ago about trying to restore native bee populations in San Francisco - you can listen here:

doyle said...

I have bees and apple blossoms and my sister's death entwined in my head. She will eventually end up scattered on a hill overlooking an apple orchard that's been farmed by her fiancee's family for over 150 years.

Her breath fed the trees, and the hum of bees assures us of fruit in the fall.

I hope the apiarists save the bees; in the meantime, I have my own hypothesis:

Anonymous said...

Thanks to both of you for sharing your comments.

Yup, more than just honey.