The honeybees are vanishing. Just how important is that? Apart from providing us with delicious honey, bees are responsible for pollinating a long list of crops and $15 billion worth of nuts, fruits and vegetables are at risk, according to the NRDC.
“Beekeepers first sounded the alarm about disappearing bees in 2006. Seemingly healthy bees were simply abandoning their hives en masse, never to return. Researchers call the mass disappearance Colony Collapse Disorder, and they estimate that nearly one-third of all honey bee colonies in the country have vanished.”
Why Are the Bees Vanishing?
Scientists studying the disorder believe a combination of factors could be making bees sick, including pesticide exposure, invasive parasitic mites, an inadequate food supply and a new virus that targets bees’ immune systems. More research is essential to determine the exact cause of the bees’ distress.
Pollination: A “Free” Ecological Service Services Bees Provide
Pollination is an excellent example of the many ecosystem services the environment provides, which we do not pay for and are free. What would its dollar value be? Ideally its dollar value would be equal to what it would cost humans to build or replicate. Could it even come close to replicating nature? Remember, pollination supports a $15 billion dollar crop-growing industry. Our economies depend heavily on such “free services” for its survival. Yet, businesses find it a burden to protect and sustain the very resources that they depend on for survival.
Honeydrop Beverages is helping to protect the core of its business- the honey bee.
Honeydrop Beverages- “Buy a Bottle – Save a Bee” campaign
Honeydrop Beverages, the leading producer of natural teas and juices made with a tablespoon of honey, is proud to officially announce their “Buy a Bottle – Save a Bee” campaign at Natural Products Expo East 2011. This initiative, established to help fight Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), is at the heart of the brand, with Honeydrop donating a percentage of profits from each bottle sold to carefully selected local beekeepers across the U.S.
Honeydrop CEO and Founder, David Luks, says
“Being a part of the solution to CCD is an important part of our mission. Without honeybees, not only is there no honey, but also no almonds, no melons, no tomatoes, no sweet potatoes…they truly are an integral part of our food chain.”
Through “Buy a Bottle – Save a Bee,” Honeydrop will help save the threatened bee population, as a percentage of profits from every bottle sold will be donated to the brand’s community beekeeper partners, helping them to build and maintain new beehives. Each new beehive increases the bee population by 40,000-60,000 bees, actively combating Colony Collapse Disorder.
What Are Some Ways We Can Help Increase Bee Counts?
Cut Back on Lawn Pesticides and Fertilizers- Lawn and garden chemicals can be lethal to bees and may weaken their immune systems, making them vulnerable to parasites or diseases. Use natural products instead.
Cultivate Bee-Friendly Plants
Bees need plants for nectar and pollen and love blue, purple and yellow flowers (suggested list here). Research shows gardens with 10 or more bee-friendly plants support the most visitors.
Weeds Are Not Always Villains
Many common weeds, such as dandelions and clover, are popular with bees. Go ahead and let some flower, then to keep things tidy, pull them up after they’ve gone to seed.
Avoid Too Much Mulch
Many native bees tunnel and live in the soil, but can be blocked by heavy layers of woodchips or plastic liners. Learn to edge your lawn tastefully without completely shutting out bees.
Help Your Town Protect Bee Habitat
Some of the biggest threats to bees are urban sprawl and intensive land management. Volunteer to plant wildflowers and other native vegetation along roadways and other common areas, and advocating for smart growth and sensible limits to development where you live.