Did you know that pollinators are necessary for the reproduction of 90% of our flowering plants and that nearly one third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants?
The US department of Agriculture states that the honeybee is responsible for nearly 80% of that pollination. A common misconception is that honeybees only produce honey when in fact they pollinate more than 90 different varieties of the most flavorful flowering crops we have. To name a few, blueberries, broccoli, apples, almonds, avocados, soybeans, celery, cucumbers, peaches, cherries, cranberries, and strawberries. Without the "busy bees" these crops and many others are not able to grow.
A congressional study estimates that honeybees add almost $15 billion dollars a year in value to our food supply.Unfortunately, the number of bee populations are on the decline. They are severly being threatened by a multitude of factors including, habitat loss, disease, and the excessive and inappropriate use of pestisides. Scienctist have yet to pinpoint a singular culprit in this myterious, bee disappearing phenomenon, but rest assured that many theories are currently being explored. In the interim, this complex combination of elements have been given a name, Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD.
Because bees play a pivotal role in providing us with a wide array of foods, they have become essential to producing most of what ends up on our plates. Without the bees, our favorite fruits and veggies, chock full o' vitamins, may become scarce and almost impossible to obtain.
"If bees continue to disappear at the current rate the honeybee population in the United States will cease to exist by the year 2035"
Protecting our honeybees is crucial and you can "bee involved".
By taking steps to help the pollinator populations flourish we can support their need for habitat while supporting our own needs for food and at the same time diversity in natural ecosystems. Making a difference to both pollinators and the people that rely upon them can be as easy as adding local and native plants to your landscape that offer food and shelter for pollinators throughout their active seasons. To help you get started, Pollinator.org offers some very in depth planting guides according to your region. It's as easy a punching in your zip code!
Learning about bees and other pollinators can teach us more about the important role they play in our environment. And I strongly encourage you to take some time to do so, especially if this is the first you are hearing about Colony Collapse Disorder. Recently, Cody and I watched a PBS documentary called, "Silence of the Bees" and it really opened my eyes to the potential devastation that this can cause. If you also want to be fully informed I recommend taking some time to watch that fascinating episode--you won't be sorry.
Here is a clip. Follow the above link to see the full episode.
Increasing awareness about this unexplained reality is hugely important to me and I thought that there was no better time to do it than before spring hits. It gives you plenty of time to do a little independent research in helping to create and maintain pollinator friendly landscapes in and around your own homes. Cody and I are really lucky in the sense that our yard and surrounding valley is already a lush landscape of biodiversity. Throughout the year, flowers and fruits thrive in ways that continue to amaze and captivate me. I know not everyone is as blessed to live in such an environment, but it is possible to establish pollinator friendly plants in pots given you have some sort of outdoor space available. You're all creative individuals, I'm betting that you can come up with something!
Since this has been in the forefront of my mind for quite some time, I have decided to donate 10% of every mini print trio ordered to NAPPC to help fund research for Colony Collapse Disorder. Living without honeybees is not something I want to imagine, and I hope that you will feel the same.
click on photo to go to my etsy shop.