The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Loss of the Honey Bee


Last updated 4/30/2019 at Noon

Did you know that beekeepers in America loose almost half of their hives every year. Did you know that 65% of our foods are dependent on honey bees. Even alphalfa hay requires honeybees to pollenate the bloom so farmers and ranchers can plant replacement crops. Alphalfa is only one example of how bees impact beef and other meat products. We need our bees, every cucumber, cantaloupe, squash, melon and pumpkin among other vegetables require a pollinator to produce. While bees are not the only pollinator, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds are others also pollinate ALL are in trouble. Honey bees are responsible for the largest majority of the pollinating effort.

I mentioned above that beekeepers loose almost half of their hives each year.

Why does this happen.

We are all negligent in our use of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.

Do you really follow the label directions? Do you spray only when really needed? Do you really need the selective herbicide you use on the lawn? If you use a systemic insecticide you are killing our bees.

The killing agent concentrates in the nectar and pollen of the plant.

Honey bees collect these sub lethal amounts of insecticide carry them to the hive and feed it to the bee larva.

This weakens the larva and reduces the life of the resulting bee.

If you use a powder insecticide (like Seven Dust) this poison is collected as pollen and carried to the hive, killing the larva.

If you spray pesticides on blossoms visited by bees you are effecting the bee directly and the rest of the hive by contact with other bees.

OK, What do I do??? There are several simple things that the everyday home owner can do. First don’t use systemic agents, don’t use insecticide dust, spray only before dawn or after dusk. Honey bees normally stay in the hive after dusk until dawn so they would be out of harms way if you spray then. Reduce the amount of herbicide you use. If you choose to use herbicide use it selectively, don’t use it on the back yard let a little clover grow. Toss out a few wild flower seed along the road ditch, plant a butterfly bush.

Give a Honey Bee a chance, help protect our environment.

Len VanMarion

TAIS Master Beekeeper


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