Honeybee Losses Nearing Critical Condition

I just read this article Honeybee problem nearing a ‘critical point, published last week on grist.org.

The gist is that industrial beekeepers are losing a full one-third of their bees per year due to the still mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder.

Although news about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has died down, commercial beekeepers have seen average population losses of about 30 percent each year since 2006, said Paul Towers, of the Pesticide Action Network. Towers was one of the organizers of a conference that brought together beekeepers and environmental groups this week to tackle the challenges facing the beekeeping industry and the agricultural economy by proxy.

“We are inching our way toward a critical tipping point,” said Steve Ellis, secretary of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board (NHBAB) and a beekeeper for 35 years. Last year he had so many abnormal bee die-offs that he’ll qualify for disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

While it is scary to realize that the bees that are dying are the same bees that pollinate most of our favorite food crops in the United States, I think it is telling that it is only the beekeepers who practice the hurtful type of beekeeping described in the ‘About’ section on this website who are being affected by CCD.

I am personally inspired by beekeepers like Dee Lusby who keeps her hundreds of hives without any chemicals or unnatural feeds whatsoever. When CCD has wiped out too many of the industrial beekeepers, she is the one they will turn to in order to start repairing their apiaries and bringing the bee population back to robust vigor.