Save the Bees

Bee, Pollen, Nectar, Yellow, Blossom

The 2008 calendar suggests another spring has arrived in North America and also the indications of the new season are everywhere. Buds have emerged on trees, heralding the coming of fresh leaves. The higher daylight and the warming sun act as harbingers for the appearance of flowering plants which will shortly begin their summer cycle of expansion. Nurseries and home improvement stores; for example, Home Depot and Loews, are selling crops, rakes, shovels, compost, and fertilizer.

Indeed, the recognizable signs of spring are everywhere. But once again this season, there’s a real problem in character that’s tempering agricultural excitement for the upcoming growing season. It’s an issue which was diagnosed in 2006. The issue is still the disappearance of the honey bee. Once again there is little progress to report from research into this puzzle surrounding the honey bee named Colony Collapse Infection (CCD).

CCD happens when all adult bees disappear from the hive, leaving the pollen and honey behind. Few, if any, dead bees are located around the hive. Between 50 and 90 percent of the commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in america have been affected with CCD and the issue is making it hard for U.S. commercial beekeepers to pollinate plants. It’s estimated that up to 70 percent of honey bees in the USA have just disappeared because of Colony Collapse Disorder. The problem has continued throughout the winter of 2007-2008.

Besides the continuing problem of CCD, believe news reports indicate significant regional issues with dying honey bees this spring in america. Western Washington State has a growing agricultural catastrophe as bees are dying from a new pathogen named Nosema Ceranae. This fungus attacks the bee’s gut, which makes it impossible to process food and the parasitic eventually starves to death.

Generally speaking, the numerous problems with disappearing and dying honey bees are quickly taking a toll on the complete United States beekeeping industry. It’s been reported that the amount of keepers that produce more than 6,000 pounds of honey annually has dropped out of 2,054 in 2005, (the year before keepers began experiencing colony collapse) to approximately 1,100 annually.

The Fraser Valley produces about one-fifth of the planet’s blueberries, but no longer has a sufficient number of honey bees to encourage its blueberry pollination, and honey bees are presently being imported for pollination.

But, bee keepers complain of a lack of research funding and the slow pace of governmental reaction since the amount of honey bees proceeds in decline.

It’s currently estimated that almost half of Italy’s 50 billion bee population died annually. That bee mortality rate is going to have a drastic influence on the nation’s 25-million-euro honey sector (which could plummet by 50% in 2008) and wreak havoc on fruit plants.

The higher cost of energy in food manufacturing and transport has led to a world food price inflation of 45 percent in the past nine months alone. There are serious global shortages of wheat, rice, and corn. The increasing cost of food has just been in charge of deadly clashes in Egypt, Haiti, and many African states.

But if the population of the honey bee continues to decrease, global events from higher prices and shortages of food will have only just started.

The disappearance of the honey bee poses a threat to ingesting premium ice cream also. The business is starting a new flavor this spring named Vanilla Honey Bee to raise consumer awareness about the issue. Proceeds from the sale of this ice cream will be used to finance CCD research.

The ramifications to our lifestyle and diet are enormous, but government’s reaction to the growing food crisis has been slow and limited. The evaporating honey bee issue hasn’t been discussed in any Presidential debate or in any effort forum. In actuality, both of our major political parties have been quiet on the issue.

Hopefully, American politicians on the campaign trail from the 2008 United States presidential election like Haagen- Daz solutions. The reality is that Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream might be the only method to bring the candidates focus on some severe, developing, agricultural crisis. A world with no honey bee pollination will produce a food crisis of economic, national, and worldwide ramifications. Indeed, it’s another year with no solution to the problem of disappearing honey bees.

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