What's the Buzz? Urban Beekeeping, Colony Collapse and the Sweet Virginia Foundation

Try making me a fruit salad without watermelon, apples, pears, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, tangerines, and mangoes.

Pretty difficult, right?

That sort of situation actually isn’t too far away from the predicament that we are currently in. These foods, along with countless others, are all foods that are pollinated by bees.

Those tiny little yellow and black critters that sting are a vital part to our diets? Yep.

To make the problem worse, these hard-working bees are dying at a rapid rate like no one has ever seen before. Scientists call this colony collapse disorder, and they believe a multitude of factors contribute to it: such as, pesticide exposure, invasive parasitic mites, an inadequate food supply, and a new virus. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. could lose $15 billion worth of crops without bees to pollinate them, and imagine the consequences that this could have on your own health! If you care about eating healthy food, you should care about bees.

So, what can you do to help save the bees?

  1. Plant things that bees like. For bees, certain flowers are yummier than others. For example, they prefer flowers that are blue purple or yellow. Some crops also do better than others. Planting the right flowers help feed bees better.
  2. Eliminate garden pesticides. Pesticides are bad for humans. They’re worse for bees. Try to use organic gardening strategies so that bees are unaffected by pesticides.
  3. Provide bee habitat. Just like us, bees need places to live. Beekeeping is rapidly becoming a new hobby to many. Additionally, bees can live in a lot of places—even cities.
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