The mysterious disappearance of bees has been a major concern for years. While much more is to be learned about why bees are disappearing, bee keepers and scientists have discovered theories for what causes bees to disappear and what average citizens can do to help them. The technical term for the disappearance is colony collapse disorder (CCD); the spread of this disorder has a massive impact on the future of the world’s food supply. It is no question that bees are in trouble and in dire need of help; however, earth month may just be what saves them.
Earth month is the time of year when people pay extra attention to the environment and become more earth-friendly for thirty days. Earth month has evolved from a single day on April 22, to earth week; now the entire month of April is dedicated to environmental awareness. Honeybees are an extremely important part of our food system and environment, as well as pollination and economic stability. Without necessary pollination the world’s food supply would diminish.
Colony collapse disorder emerged in the year 2006. An easy way to determine whether a hive is affected by CCD is to look at its numbers: a hive with a queen, few to no adult bees, and no dead bee carcasses is a candidate for CCD. Numerous studies have been done to determine the cause(s) of CCD; there have been many theories with some very convincing leads made. One recurring argument is how the use of synthetic pesticides is weakening, spreading to and killing populations of bees en route of pollinating. Honeybee populations are at an extreme low, with colonies staggering below 2.5 million.
Even though bee disappearance is an extremely dire issue, many people still are not aware of the situation and therefore do not take action. Earth month this year has brought massive amounts of attention to bees and the trouble that they are in, which may empower people to save them.
Corporations are a major way that earth month initiatives are translated to the public. Whole Foods Market is sharing information about CCD through in-store art projects and marketing, which comprise of its “Share the Buzz” campaign. Many products sold within Whole Food Market have literature supporting initiatives to save honeybees, and many employees have created art to display that grabs customer attention and informs them of the honeybee crisis.
Individuals all around the country are taking matters into their own hands by attracting bees to healthy pollinating plants-plants that are free from synthetic pesticide treatments- and transforming their yards into bee-safe zones. Many schools across the country are hosting lessons about the importance of pollination and what students can do to help the honeybees thrive once again.
Earth month is a prime opportunity to alert citizens about the critical state of bees and what they can do to help. Everyday citizens, corporations, scientists, teachers and nature-enthusiasts come together to collaborate and better understand the world. Bees are absolutely in trouble, though due to awareness brought to the situation this earth month the bees may be saved and the world will, hopefully, see much more of them.
By Courtney Heitter