23 July 2009

what's the buzz?

2009 marks the third year in a row that America's honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing - 29 percent of honey bee colonies vanished between September 2008 and April 2009 alone. The presence of these fuzzy little buzzers is crucial for the pollination of everything from almonds to avocados, and contribute an estimated $15 billion dollars to America's agricultural industry (that's billion, with a b). Though no one cause has yet been named for this baffling bee behavior, there are a few things you can do to help save them:

Buy Organic! - Is this really a surprise? Vast amounts of evidence have suggested that chemicals and pesticides are one of the main culprits of the bees' disappearance as these toxins enter their bodies in great quantities. Bees, too, can be raised organically, and many farmers have made the switch to their benefit.

Plant Native Wildflowers - These pretties attract pollinators (including increasingly rare butterflies) and provide them with food and shelter. You can check out the best buds for your 'hood at www.pollinator.org. Living urban? Contact your local park and ask what they plant! Or better yet, go guerrilla build your own seed bomb!

Have a Bowl of Ice Cream! - Ok, maybe not the MOST helpful thing you could do, but some of the proceeds from bee-made Haagen-Dazs flavors (such as the honey-sweetened berry selections) go towards bee research. Bee-utiful!

Photo c.o. Long Island Bee Keepers Club

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