Every year around this time, billions of commercially managed honey bees from around the United States are stacked inside semi-trailers headed for California. Specifically, the bees are being trucked to a 600-mile stretch of trees in the Central Valley that produces 80% of the world’s almonds (about 2 billion pounds in a good year).
The bees suck up the nectar from new almond blossoms, pollinating the nuts more efficiently than any insect on earth.
The bees pollenate our berries, fruits and vegetables too. Bees are responsible for pollinating about one in every three bites of food we eat here in the United States.
A decade ago scientists noticed massive numbers of honey bees were dying in alarming numbers. The ailment was named colony collapse disorder, and had many causes. The primary culprits: pesticides and other chemicals used by the agricultural industry, and a lack of pollen.
Bees will fly about three miles in any direction from their home, so if the pollen or nectar they are visiting has contaminants, they’ll bring that home to their hive.
6 Ways you can Help Bees do Their Job:
1) Purchase organic foods to help more honey bees survive.
2) Buy honey, from bee keepers who use the highest quality standards, in a raw, unheated form.
3) Eliminate the use of all poisons, weed killers, and chemical fertilizers in your garden.
4) Plant bee loving flowers, shrubs and trees in your garden.
5) Give the bees water. Fill a pie dish with stones (this allows them to land without drowning) and water, and place it on the ground in your garden.
6) Learn more about bees at Pollinator Partnership.
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