Thursday, March 21, 2013

Local bees best?

I've heard several theories regarding bee colony collapse - a fungal infection, bees having an adverse reaction to GMOs, and the common practice of packing up and moving bees between fields and farms for mass pollination of one crop at a time leaving the bees with severely weakened immune systems (because it's natural to take pollen from several types of flowers -- you'd get sick too if all you ever ate for 3 days was asparagus, then candy for 3 days, then bread for another 3, etc.).

Connecting with this last point, they've done a study that says the "wild" bees (as opposed to the bees brought in for the mass pollination described above), actually do a better job of helping the plant reproduce, as "imported" bees tend to result in more plant inbreeding. 

They're now recommending that farms leave more untouched wilderness around their fields for "local" bees and other pollinators to live in, get a balanced diet in, and stay healthy.

Bees are a vital link in the food chain, their importance cannot be overestimated.

We've certainly enjoyed watching the many different type of pollinators, mini and bumble bees and more, since we let our backyard go "natural", it's full of long grasses, bluets and strawberries in the spring, clover and thistle in the summer, and goldenrod in the fall.  

Read more about wild bees and this latest study on the CBC.

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