What You Can Do to Help Slow Bee Decline - Natural Oakville
Around the globe a crisis of monumental proportions is taking place.
Bees are disappearing at an unprecedented rate and with them go up to one third of the world's food supply.
There are many factors that scientists say are contributing to the alarming disappearance of the bees. Amongst those being studied are:
1. Radio waves
2. Pesticide and Herbicide usage
3. Parasites and Disease that seem to be more successful now due to bee's weakening immune systems
4. Mono-culture of plant species over thousands of acres
5. Air pollution
6. Global warming
All of these factors combined are escalating and compounding the rate of demise that all species of bees are experiencing.
Bees are the most valuable pollinator for plant species on our planet.
Here in Ontario, scientists are not only studying the disappearance of commerical honeybees; native species of wild bees are also showing drastic decline and many species are near extinction.
Peter Kevan, a professor and Entomologist at the University of Guelph, is raising the alarm on the plight of our native bee popluations.
Peter states that two of most common bumblebee species in Ontario are experiencing a "massive decline" and in select areas of the province may already be extinct.
Bee decline is particularly evident in the Niagara region and in southern Ontario. The Niagara region, with it's great abundance of fruit farms, has already experienced a 90 % drop in bee populations.
Scientists are attributing this to pesticide and herbicide use which weakens the bees immune systems to the point where they become extremely susceptible to diseases which cause death.
Another factor in highly populated areas such as the GTA and QEW corridor, is the extremely poor air quality.
Oakville is known as having the poorest air quality in Ontario. A high particulate matter in the air reduces the scent of flowers by up to 90% leaving bees with one of their greatest navigational tools, their sense of smell, in a useless state.
Without being able to find flowers, the bees are unable to gather nectar, the food source for the colonies.
There are a number of things homeowners can do to help the plight of our bee populations:
1. Use a wide array of flowers in your garden, paying particular attention to indigenous species such as Black-eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers, Bergamot, Dogwood, Serviceberry, Violets, Sunflowers and Wild Strawberries.
2. When planning your garden beds, use a diverse array of flowers so as to have blooms from early spring until late fall.
3. Do what you can to help alleviate global warming and air pollution. Even the smallest actions can make a difference.
4. Avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides in your garden and yard.
The plight of humanity will hang in a precarious balance if bees disappear from the planet and many scientists believe mankind will not survive without these small, hardworking insects we share the planet with.