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Why Bees are Disappearing Ted Talk: Marla Spivak

02 Feb Posted by in Seedy Saturday | Comments
Why Bees are Disappearing Ted Talk: Marla Spivak

About 8 years ago North America was shocked by the announcement of widespread colony collapse disorder: the massive disappearance of entire colonies of bees. While many of us would claim to feel a fondness for our fellow bumble bee, few of us may have thought about how important the survival of the bee is to our own.

Bees are foundational to the food chain we rely on. They pollinate a third of the world’s crops that we, or the livestock we depend on, eat. The collapse of bee colonies undermines food security on a global scale.

While the causes are not entirely clear, it is strongly suspected that the disappearance of bees are due to a combination of factors including: environmental stressors (climate change); bee stress from having their hives trucked to various locations; lack of bio-diversity; loss of habitat; poor nutrition (monocrops); parasites and certain classes of pesticides (neonicotinoids).

While a daunting issue to be sure, there are things we can do on a local scale to improve the situation for bees:

1. Plant bee-friendly flowers. Flowers are bee food.

2. Support organic farms

On a large scale, we have power to protect our bees by changing agricultural practices to ones that support bio-diversity and other measures outlined in the Ted talk below!

In our region, one important bee for our fruit trees is the Mason Bee; so join bee expert Gord Hutchings at his talk, Orchard Mason Bees, 10:15 am, Feb 15 at Seedy Saturday! (THIS TALK IS CANCELLED)

photo credit: Matt Whelan, Photographer


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