I see a bee!

Bee feeders were recently featured on Good as a response to the onset of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  CCD popped up around 2006, when apiculturists (bee keepers) began noticing a decline in honey bee populations and empty hives.  We haven’t figured out exactly what is going on, but there are speculations of fungal infections, mite infections, other pathogens, pesticide toxicity…the list goes on.  It’s important to recognize the severity of the situation because bees are important pollinators to a wide variety of crops in the United States and world wide.  Some of these include peaches, squash, apples, coffee, and berries.  It’s almost berry season again, so I’m including a berry pavolova recipe.  Berries and meringue? Delicious.  So I’m in favor of keeping the bees around.

How might the bee feeders help out?  The bee station a great idea in theory, but I’m not convinced they would be used in the manner proposed.  I’m no expert so I’ve got some questions about this contraption:
-Is it like a bee motel, housing wayward bees that can’t make it back to their hive?
-Is it like a drive through restaurant where bees can stop in for a quick bite to eat before heading home?
-What do you put in the bee station to make it attractive for the bees?
-How do you prevent other insects, like ants, from annexing the bee station and making use of it themselves?

I would have to do more research on the efficacy of the contraption.  They are pretty cute though.  But maybe that’s also because of the stark white minimalist appearance on which Apple has also capitalized. Shiny.

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One response to this post.

  1. The problem is, bees can happily range more than five miles in a day (better than some humans I hnow would do on foot, sadly), so the idea that they wouldn’t make it back to the hive is suspect. More importantly,CCD affects whole colonies, not just individual bees (Individual sick bees tend to leave the colony to die, thus avoiding sickening the rest). Recent research shows that a combination of factors is the most likely culprit: a common bee virus known as iridovirus, and a fungus called nosema ceranae work in tandem. It’s possible that the virus, which is also common in healthy colonies, weakens the bees immune response to the fungus nosema, so when both are abundant the bees die. This means that, as viruses are currently incurable even in humans, antifungal treatment of hives would help curb the disease. Of course, then we’ll have people upset that their honey isn’t organic. Oh well. Good science reading can be found here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0013181 I hope that helps!

    Reply

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