Who is the Bee Bureaux?
Why the world needs honeybees
Colony Collapse Disorderâ€™s effect on the United States
What we can do to help
If the decline of bees continues at this rate,
they could be completely wiped
out in 25 years, breaking the food chain & ushering in an
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The honey bee is responsible for the pollination of many of our food crops. There are about 118 crops that heavily rely on honeybee pollination. Honeybees will pollinate many plant species that are not native to their areas. Almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and many other crops all rely on honey bees for pollination. So if honey bees disappear and we do not find a way to do the work they do then foods that we take for granted will decrease in supply and increase in price. The pollination service provided by insect pollinators, bees mainly, was â‚Ź153 billion (euros) in 2005 for the main crops that feed the world. This figure amounted to 9.5% of the total value of agriculture. The main reason that the honey bees is important for our world is as simple as this; if the honey bee does not pollinate the crops, the crops do not grow and produce the food that gets harvested and brought to the store where we buy it and bring it home to feed ourselves and our families. In other words there is a direct connection between the bees pollinating the crops and our ability to provide food for our families. We are hoping to prevent this horrible future by planting â€œBee friendlyâ€? gardens across America, uncovering and stopping the use of dangerous pesticides by U.S. farmers and gardeners as well as informing you about the simple things that can help svae the bees and our race.
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WHAT WE NEED TO REALIZE IS THAT BEES ARENâ€™T THE ONLY RACE IN DANGER. The National Agriculture Statistics Service reported that there were 2.44 million honey producing hives in the United States as of February 2008, down from 4.5 million in 1980, and 5.9 million in 1947, though these numbers underestimate the total number of managed hives as they exclude several thousand hives managed for pollination contracts only, and also do not include hives managed by beekeepers owning fewer than 5 hives. This under-representation may be offset by the practice of counting some hives more than once; hives that are moved to different states to produce honey are counted in each stateâ€™s total and summed in total counts. Non-CCD winter losses as high as 50% have occurred in some years and regions. Normal winter losses are typically considered to be in the range of 15-25%. In 2007 in the U.S., at least 24 different states as well as portions of Canada had reported at least one case of CCD. In a 2007 survey of 384 responding beekeepers from 13 states 23.8% met the specified criterion for CCD (that 50% or more of their dead colonies were found
without bees and with very few dead bees in the hive or apiary). In the U.S. in 2006-2007, CCD-suffering operations had a total loss of 45% compared to the total loss of 25% of all colonies experienced by non-CCD suffering beekeepers. A 2007-2008 survey of over 19% of all colonies revealed a total loss of 35.8%. Operations that pollinated almonds lost, on average, the same number of colonies as those that did not. The 37.9% of operations that reported having at least some of their colonies die with a complete lack of bees had a total loss of 40.8% of colonies compared to the 17.1% loss reported by beekeepers without this symptom. Large operations were more likely to have this symptom suggesting that a contagious condition may be a causal factor. Sixty percent of all colonies that were reported dead in this survey died without the presence of dead bees in the hive, and thus possibly suffered from CCD. In 2010, the USDA reported that data on overall honey bee losses for the year indicate an estimated 34% loss, which is statistically similar to losses reported in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Urban beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular as popular concern over colony collapse disorder and the state of the honey bee population leads more than a few people to answer the question “What can I do?” with a simple answer: Raise bees. Traditionally a project that people undertook in rural landscapes, where farmers might allow a neighbor’s bee hive box or two without complaint, beekeeping is increasingly becoming a hobby for city dwellers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Bees can do quite well in urban landscapes, and they will undoubtedly to their part to keep urban gardens blooming beautifully. It’s not the best time to start a new hive in many climates, with winter approaching, but there’s plenty of time to plan for the spring.
In late 2006 Colonies that were once thriving suddenly went still, almost overnight. The worker bees that make hives run simply disappeared, their bodies never to be found. In the past 5 years, the bee populations have decreased drastically across the globe. The dissapearance across the United States, Europe and the Middle East represents a potential ecological apocalypse, an environmental catastrophe that could collapse the food chain and wipe out humanity. A research team led by entomologist May Berenbaum at the University of Illinois compared the whole genome of honeybees that came from hives that had suffered from CCD with hives that were healthy. The sick bees exhibited genetic damage that could account for the die-off, and that damage indicated that they might be afflicted with multiple viruses simultaneously. This could weaken them enough to trigger CCD. The PNAS team's work was possible only because the honeybee's genome is one of the few animal genomes that scientists have decoded in full. The researchers looked at the genes that were switched on in the guts of sick and healthy bees â€” the gut being both the place pesticides are detoxified and the main region for immune defense. The technique they used is what's known as a whole-genome microarray, and it's ideal for this kind of sweeping analysis. "It's a really powerful tool that lets us look at all 10,000 honeybee genes at the same time," says Berenbaum.