Why are the bees dying and what can you do?
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is this "thing" that's affecting bee colonies all across the world, especially here in the United States. Bee are disappearing and colonies are turning into ghost towns in a way that beekeepers have never seen before.
This is problematic. Especially since 1/3 of all the produce we eat directly involves bee pollination.
CCD has been getting a lot of attention. Especially with media outlets like 60 Minutes (Part I, Part II) shedding the light on the bees and their plight. With the growing attention farmers, policy makers and the public are demanding answers. But scientist still aren't sure what's causing CCD. More accurately, you could say they aren't sure because they don't know where to look.
Talk to any organic beekeeper and they'll tell you that commercial bees are "collapsing" because they are sick. They're sick because their internal and external environments are polluted as a result of a factory farming mentality and corrupt agriculture system.
Here's a look at the system that's killing the bees:
- Bred to be bigger
- Trucked around the country to momo feed on acres and acres of a single crop, often genetically modified
- Forced to feed on crops laced with insecticides, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
- Left to become malnourished on this insufficient diet (variety of crop leads to healthier bees)
- Completely take over internally by viruses and mites that live inside the bees and take advantage of their weak immune system
- Fed tons of antibiotics to counter the influx of disease
- Forced to leave the colony and their eggs (if they already aren't dead) because hive has become much too toxic to live
What about cell phone towers and crazy viruses that have come from Australia? Bull shit mostly.
It's the feeding on "crops laced with insecticides, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides" that is the clincher". The mites and virus are the cancer that show up when the bees internal environment has been totally polluted. Just as humans get sick and develop degenerative diseases eating processed foods, bees too are getting crazy sick from their processed and chemically laced diet.
Here's an awesome video by Sharilyn Stalling on these super pesticides that have crippled our bees and are currently crippling us.
What can you do?
In the midst of all this a lot of people start to feel helpless. But here are 3 things you can do that can have a real impact on the future of bees.
- Vote Organic: Every time you buy organic, you're not only showing your support for clean farming, but you are also showing your lack of support for the chemical industry. Vote organic with your dollars. Local organic & local pesticide free is of course the best (next to growing your own food). Use localharvest.org to find a local farm near you that is organic or pesticide free.
- Raw Organic/Pesticide Free Honey only: 1) Raw honey has all the enzymes, nutrients and goodness in tact. And if it's organic (don't eat raw honey that isn't organic) it's free from pesticides inside the wax of the honey. 2) Bee keepers that make raw organic honey also appreciate the healing power of honey. They know that the better they treat their bees, the better the honey will be. Organic bee farmers have compassion for their bees in a way that commercial farmers don't.
Whole Foods, your local co-op and online retailers are great places to find Raw Organic Honey.
- Spread the word: Next time someone talks about the bees drop a little knowledge on them. Tell them that every time they buy produce from big commercial / non-organic farms (pretty much everything in the supermarket) they're supporting the demise of the bee and therefore the demise of future produce. I'm not saying you have to get all Peta on them, but a little knowledge from some they trust makes people think.
Bees are being forced to pollinate huge non-organic farms, are eating the pesticides that come with the territory and are dying because they are getting sick from the chemicals. This is a system that can't continue. Stand up on your end and support organic.