They call it Colony Collapse Disorder. For the past 15 years or so, the honey bee has been disappearing. I would like to say that they’re dying off, because then we would be closer to some kind of answer, but there are no bodies. Just empty hives.
When I was young, Walking through the yard without a pair of shoes was a chore. One would have to watch where he or she was walking with every step because there was always a good chance that you would step on a honey bee. All summer long we could watch them flying from flower to flower collecting pollen from one flower to another, from one apple or cherry tree to the next ensuring a bountiful harvest of fruit.
It’s funny, we don’t think about what we have until it’s gone. Roughly 1/3 of your diet is pollinated by bees. Honey is used as a sweetener, it’s used for flavoring, and has anti-bacterial qualities in which have been used around the world for many millennium. The wax has been used for everything from candles to makeup.
What can we do to ensure the survival of the honeybee species?
There have been some interesting studies that show that honey bees thrive in urban environments, even more so than rural. As there has been a huge growth of urban agriculture, there should also be a growth in urban bee keeping. Many cities are now allowing residents to keep bees on their properties, and some are keeping bees high atop of buildings. What a concept! A completely self sufficient rooftop agricultural system within a city! Right down to pollination. It might not cure the colony collapse, but it would help give the bees a fighting chance. Maybe?