The Not-So-Secret Life of a Bee<br />Taking a closer look at how these insects provide for human health and well-being<br />
The Beginning: Birth<br />As these new bees enter the world they are immediately born into a caste: drone, worker, and rarely, queen.<br />Commercial beekeepers use plastic combs, which has been shown to increase the rate of varroa mite infestations: The combs are too large, so mites are able to crawl in and infest bee larva.<br />
The Life of a Worker<br />The workers are the only bees in the caste that go out and collect pollen. Worker bees will collect for two weeks and visit over 400 species of plants.<br />The life of a worker is much riskier than one may think… <br />If life isn’t short enough, some workers are burdened with blood-sucking mites, as pictured right.<br />
And through disease and infestation these creatures push on, pollinating more than 70% of crops that America depends on. Including cherries, avocado, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, and vegetables like cucumbers, squash, asparagus and nuts, particularly almonds.<br />Breakfast with Bees<br />Breakfast without Bees<br />
Bees play the biggest role in pollination because they live in large colonies that ensure “high local pollination” (Dietemann, 2010). No other pollinator is quite as efficient as the bee<br />
The Evidence Is There….<br />In North America, the number of managed honey-bee hives has declined almost 60 % since the mid 1940s, due to the increasing incidence of parasitic mites and other unidentified factors. (Aizen, 2009). <br />Commercial beekeepers migrate their hives to different states: bees aren’t adapted to these new environments, exposing them to various diseases, as well as exposure to pollution and urban gases<br />Newborn dead bee infected with Mites<br />
What Can You Do?<br /><ul><li> Buy organically grown honey, it supports beekeepers that don’t use insecticides</li></ul> or other harmful beekeeping methods<br /><ul><li> Plant a bee-friendly garden: planting a wide variety of plants will attract different bees.
By researching your area, you can discover plants that the bees are particularly</li></ul> adapted or attract native species<br /><ul><li> Bees are not here to hurt you, there’s no need to hurt them!</li></li></ul><li>Cry For Help…<br />The Bees need a voice. These creatures have been crying out for years now, but they have gone unnoticed.<br />