Bee Decline

Thank you for being conscious enough to take the time to learn about what is happening to cause the bee decline.  The rapid decline of our main pollination source is a cause for concern for everyone, though it will only change when people like us  understand the causes and the ways we can help our bees overcome them.

Here at Mason Bees For Sale we want to help you help our environment and subsequently put more better tasting, bigger fruits and vegetables on the table. The best way for you to help reverse the bee decline is to grow a garden that is bee friendly and create a bee habitat in your yard.

learn From the Bee Decline Expert:

Dr. Marla Spivak has earned our respect she has dedicated years to bees, their biology and how they work. She is obviously an expert on bee decline as well as a vital resource for a way to help bees to thrive again. We hope you’ll take some time to watch her video (below) and read The Plight of the Bees.

 

Reasons For the Bee Decline:

There are several factors that are responsible for the decline of our bees. It is the cumulative effect, not one single cause, that has pushed bees past their ability to adapt.

One of the largest cause for concern is the way we get food on the table. There are less home growers than there used to be and the farmers that are responsible for providing our food have industrialized to support the increased demand.

Farmers are doing what they can to sustain their farms with the knowledge they have. We have gratitude for the hard work they put in and the food they provide however there is room for improvement where bees are concerned.

*Monocultures contribute to the Bee Decline

There are more monocultures (large areas of only one type of blossoms), and decreased crop rotation due to synthetic fertilizers. These equate to less blossom diversity. The bees (especially native bees that aren’t being looked after by a bee keeper) are subjected to collecting pollen that is available and with decreased diversity the pollinating season is shortened.

*Chemical Overload:

Many have turned to chemical pesticides and genetically modified seeds to increase their harvests. The seeds have been adapted to handle the increase in chemicals but our bees haven’t. All insecticides harm bees.

Recently the Neonicotinoids (pesticides put on the seed of the plant prior to planting) have been banned in european countries due to the fact that traces of neonicotinoids were found in the mature plant exposing pollinators to the chemicals.  Unfortunately the ban on these products hasn’t helped the bees because the farmers just resorted to spraying more insecticides after planting.

- Current Crop Pollination Practices:

Another problem is the way crops are being pollinated. Honey bees are being utilized for pollination in ways that nature never intended. Hauling them on trucks and shipping them across the country to pollinate industrialized orchards works for now but isn’t sustainable long term. Honey bees travel up to 5 miles to collect enough pollen/nectar for their hives. This creates a lot of overlap areas between hives.  Most farmers are unknowingly spreading bee diseases between hives by hauling in healthy hives where they will most likely come in contact with other hives in the area that are sick or infected with parasites/virus/fungus/molds (or visa versa). We have been working with orchards in California and other states in the  north west to educate and help farmers.

They have started utilizing mason bees as an alternative or supplement pollinator to the honey bee. They are more efficient pollinators and don’t travel as far to collect pollen so they are less likely to be exposed to disease. Even just replacing  a few hives with mason bees greatly decreases the amount of overlap. They are also less expensive and easier to maintain. (A post about this project is in the works, sign up for our newsletter to be notified when it’s ready).

How Can We Reverse The Bee Decline and Save the Bees?

To really help the bees we need to focus on organic farming. Buying from local organic growers and/or planting your own garden is the best way to provide a safe place for bees to collect pollen. The bonus is what is better for the bees is better for our health as well.

Planting your own garden and having a bee home in your yard also helps with the problem of habit loss. The amount of concrete and asphalt are on the rise where as the wild flowers, gardens and fields are decreasing. Whether you live in the country or city area the bees will appreciate a safe place to nest. It is especially helpful for solitary bees who generally stay with in a 100 yards of their nesting area.

To set up a bee paradise in your yard you can check out our resources below:

-To find the best pollinators for your yard, check out our honeybees vs. solitary bees post.

What should I plant to promote bees?

-Organic gardening helps