At the Lonely Sherpa we feel it is important to be connected to your surroundings and actively get involved in making a difference. Of course don’t get us wrong we like to keep you lovely and warm in our lovely wool hoodies but we feel that our environment must come first. So today we are letting you know all about the bees and their rapid decline. Without the bees by the way there would be no lonely Sherpa wool hoodies as sheep would struggle to exist.
Over the past six years people and scientists have wondered why the bee population has declined so dramatically but the answer isn’t that obvious. In fact we still aren’t entirely sure what is causing this. Some people think it is down to bad winters and summer (global warming) which have triggered a series of events causing pandemonium in the bee’s food chain. That theory is that as the climate has dropped significantly so has the bee’s ability to survive as plants have not been pollinating as much. Makes sense, I for one was even convinced that this was true this summer as I noticed that because the summer was hotter (in Ireland)than usual there seemed to be more bees. It all made sense, we needed hotter summers so in turn we needed to look after our plants that little bit better by creating a greener planet and tackling global warming
That was all fine until I heard about an article/study released recently which mentioned Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) which was undertaken by the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture who recon that this problem has cost America 10 million bees and almost 2 billion dollars. The study looked at how pesticides and other chemicals may be affecting bees and in particular one disease known as Nosema infection which they thought might be causing the Colony Collapse Disorder. They discovered that the pesticides used to kill fungus on fruits such as apples and cranberries could be causing the sharp decline in bees as when the bees consume the pesticides (which are labelled as non-harmful) the bees immune system becomes weakened and the Nosema infection can not only kill that bee but will soon after wipe out an entire colony.
I’m sure you can’t blame the farmers for wanting to protect their crop and after all the pesticides are labelled as non-lethal to insects and are specifically for fungus but it sounds like this needs to change. To end this post on a positive note though, closer to home we are realising the terrible effect this may have on our food chain as bees are an important part of the source of our food. The government is trying to introducing legislation to open up a super highway but one for nature and in particular the bees. They are trying to create 3,000 miles of pollinating flowers and plants to encourage migration from all pollinating insects who are believed to pollinate 90% of Britain’s food crop. It is said that there are only 50% of the pollinating insects that were here 25 years ago making the bee’s job a hundred times harder.
It is all fairly alarming but you are probably wondering what you can do. Well there are a few things, first off is to make sure your pesticides are insect friendly and try and refrain from using them during pollination periods. The second thing is to increase the amount of flowers and pollinating plants in your area so it gives the insects a chance to find pollen and of course if you really want to help you could possibly invest in a bee hive if you have the time and money.