Current Moon Phase

Waxing Crescent
8% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Bees Need Our Help!

Bees Need Our Help!

Over the last few years, honey bee populations have been shrinking to dangerously low levels.

The sudden die-off of honey bees, often referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder, is a serious threat not just to bees, but to crop production. Bee pollination is responsible for at least one-third of America’s diet. Crops that rely heavily on bee pollination include almonds, apples, blueberries, melons, plums, avocados, cucumbers, pears, cranberries, cherries, kiwis, cauliflower, carrots, onions, celery, sunflowers, and more.

It’s not completely clear what’s responsible for the widespread death of these bees, but many factors seem to have played a role, including the prevalence of pesticide use and genetically modified plants, climate change, and an epidemic of infestation by the varroa destructor, a type of parasitic mite that sucks out bees’ internal fluids, like a vampire.

The Sierra Club has created an online pledge, asking those who are concerned about bees to take a few very simple steps to help these vitally important insects.

1. Plant bee friendly plants in your garden (single flowering plants, vetetables and herbs).

2. Buy local honey.

3. Do not leave foreign honey outside. (It can contain bacteria that can harm local honey bees).

4. Leave clover and dandelions in your yard, they are a haven for bees.

Other steps you might consider are avoiding genetically modified flowers and produce in your garden, not using chemical pesticides, and choosing organic, non-GMO produce.

If you have a Facebook account, please consider adding your pledge and spreading the word on how we can help save the honey bees before it’s too late!

7 comments

1 Jane { 09.11.14 at 5:58 pm }

To add to my previous comment, diseases can still get into honey via endospores, but it can’t do anything until 18% humidity, or digested by a bee. These endospores, can cause a colony to die from foul-brood.

2 Jane { 09.11.14 at 5:54 pm }

Actually, though honey will last thousands of years it can still go bad if the water content rises above 18%. Though, if stored properly in a water resistant container honey can last for an infinite amount of time, for example there are (very few) some jars of honey that have been around for hundreds of years.

3 Jaime McLeod { 03.10.14 at 6:44 am }

Hi Kip, I did mention mites. But that that’s not something someone can take action on.

4 Kip HartwellNOTRACK { 03.08.14 at 7:55 pm }

“3. Do not leave foreign honey outside. (It can contain bacteria that can harm local honey bees).” Honey is antibacterial (remember, it can last for 1000s of years) so I wonder how this can be true?

And its too bad you added the GMO fear to an otherwise good article. Why did you not mention any of the things that are actually harming bees, like organic certified nicanoids and antifungals and the big killers: mites?

5 Kevin W. { 03.08.14 at 2:07 pm }

2014 will bey my first year keeping bees. I have built two hives and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of two packes of bees which will arrive on March 25th. Cross your fingers that they will like the new home I give them and that the hives will grow and help pollinate all of the gardens around me.

6 Bob L. { 03.08.14 at 11:42 am }

Talk to local government representatives and ask them support activities like these, and avoid those that harm bee populations. The Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County, Virginia, will, for a 2nd straight year and with zero information to support their actions, spray chemicals in area parks to “treat” deer ticks, and directly and negatively impact all bees in the kill zone.

7 Claire { 03.08.14 at 11:18 am }

I will do everything I can to help! :-)

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.