With all of the bad news about the fate of bees in our modern world, it’s nice to see some pollinators just getting a chance to enjoy themselves for once without having to bear the weight of our food system on their shoulders:
In the front yard of my home I have three “White Diamonds” hydrangea bushes planted that seem to be like magnets for pollinators of all kinds. I take great care to not treat any of the plants in my yard with pesticides or other chemicals that may make their way into the food chain of the pollinators because these little buzzers do not need any additional impediments.
The three bushes were almost buzzing with all of the activity the other day. Dozens of bees, by my count, were flitting from bloom to bloom doing their thing. It was a nice respite from the constant drumbeat of bad news.
Speaking of bad news about bees, I hope that the recent cover story in Time will bring some much needed national attention to the plight of pollinators. For years I have watched as progressive publications and websites have talked about colony collapse disorder and neonicotinoid compounds with almost no audience at the national mainstream level. It’s a mean scene.
It got me thinking about ways to help outside of making my yard and gardens a hospitable place for pollinators. In the article in Time, it states some numbers about the decline of hives in the U.S. that are startling. In 1946 there were an estimated 5.8 million bee colonies. The estimated number of bee colonies in the U.S. is approximately 2.5 million at present. This decline is generally attributed to the threat of foreign competition rather than any systemic health issue in the bee community.
So, if part of the problem is that the market for domestic honey is being impinged by cheap foreign honey it seems like a solution would be to support local honey suppliers. I am not a big user of honey, but I think that I could work up a beer recipe that would utilize local honey. Anything to help the bees.