In 2006, beekeepers collectively hit the panic button. Seemingly normal, healthy honey bees began leaving their hives for no apparent reason. Experts believed that about one-third of the American honey bee population was affected by the mysterious and alarming problem, which was dubbed colony collapse disorder. Fortunately, things have taken a positive turn.
Why Should I Care About Bees?
Without honey bees, we wouldn’t have their delicious honey, but that would only be the beginning. Bees pollinate about one in every three commercial crops. If they all disappeared, we could say goodbye to apples, broccoli, carrots, avocados, almonds and a number of other healthy foods. Our flower bouquets would be never be the same either.
What Happened to Our Bees?
Scientists still aren’t exactly sure what caused the excessive die-off of honey bees that began almost a decade ago. Most believe that a combination of factors determined the fate of our valuable honey producers and pollinators. Pesticides and herbicides have always been prime suspects, and some studies seem to suggest their involvement. However, problems like inadequate food supply, parasitic mites and unspecified viruses could also play a part. The problem is so serious that the White House devised a national strategy to protect honey bees and other insects that spread pollen.
Great News: Honey Bee Populations Are at a 20-Year High
In a happy turn of events, the USDA found that American honey bee colonies rose from a bleak 2.4 million in 2006 to 2.7 million last year. In fact, the number of commercial honey bee colonies managed by beekeepers is the highest it has been in the past 20 years. Those closest to the situation may deserve most of the credit for this improvement. In order to replenish their stock, professional beekeepers use several strategies. One colony can be split into two by providing a new queen; this produces two separate, healthy colonies. An even simpler way to replenish bees is to just buy them in bulk to replace those that have disappeared. There’s no need to fear an imminent extinction of bees. Colony collapse disorder may just be a bump in the road. The future is finally looking brighter.
Burns Pest Elimination Cares About Honey Bees
Although we hold them in high regard, honey bees can produce painful stings and present serious health problems for bee allergy sufferers. Because they’re so essential to our agriculture and environment, we handle Phoenix and Tucson honey bees with care. If you need bee removal services, we’ll relocate the hive safely and humanely to a more appropriate location where the bees can thrive without causing harm. When bees or other insects become a nuisance, contact us or visit our website to learn more.