Once upon a time, there was a flourishing abundance of Honey Bees in the wild. Until one October day of 1852, a fellow named Lorenzo Langstroth appeared not only to patent his “Langstroth” hive but was considered to be the “Father of American Beekeeping” later on. He was very into researching all kinds of insects and ants to observe their culture. Honey bees where his favourite pastime. With the hives, the bees were able to produce massive colonies with an overabundance of honey in as little as a few months. Just about 70 years later, something started to happen to Honey Bees and they have been diminishing at an alarming rate since the 1970s. For those who aren’t aware of this seriousness, let it be known that 1/3 of our food source is pollinated by Honey Bees. What are we going to do about it? Can we do anything to help?
CCD (colony collapse disorder) is the blame for most of our hives troubles these days. Back in 1896 was the first ever recorded CCD incident. Nothing was thought of it and was left nearly untouched for 80 years. In 1972, there began the most dramatic reduction in Honey Bee population through 2006. Literally millions of bees were disappearing from North America in the Western region along with Western & Central Europe. Why? Research is still being conducted to this day and some glimmer of hope is on the horizon.
Recent studies have shown that the Varroa mite is the prime culprit for CCD. Where are these mites getting their diseases from? Like most diseases and virus strains, they adapt and overcome the pesticides given to eradicate them, resulting in a stronger mite. Over the past few decades, their resistance to a product called Apistan (Varroa Mite pesticide) has rendered it just about useless. Reading the label on this chemical states that is “Toxic to Bees and Fish”. I, for one, am Pro-Organic when it comes to treating these ailments. Let nature defend itself! Our bodies fight new strains of infection and virus constantly to keep us healthy, insects are the same, they persevere. In further studies of CCD, it was diagnosed that the Varroa mite was a carrier of a virus that attacks the bees Ribosomes. Ribosomes are part of the DNA structure called RNA and produce proteins to interact with DNA. Once the Ribosomes are altered by the virus, sends mixed signals to the DNA and compromises the bees immune system resulting in sort of a haemorrhaging action until death.
There is still a promising outlook. Since diagnosis, it appears that the bees immune system are adapting to the threat. Up to around 80% of wild bees and domestic where wiped out due to this and they’re fighting back. Hope is in the air. Ever heard the term, “Life finds a Way?” It’s in our best interest and the interest of our future that we help and aid the cause to repopulate Honey Bees. Our little friends do a lot of work in their short life spans, let’s help them by planting Purple (Russian Sage), White (Flowering Fruit Trees), or Yellow Goldenrod flowers, and by using natural or organic pesticide methods. Did you know that a weed called “Queen Anne’s Lace” will deter ants? Another race of Honey Bee has entered into the picture in America that’s pretty much Varroa Mite resistant. The Russian Honey Bee. Very docile and easy to work with, much less high producers of honey! Let’s give some applause to our “Nature’s Heroines”. Clap, Clap, Clap !!!
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