This is part of a series of short news updates beyond Greenpeace-specific news. World environmental events in a blurb:
The Buzz behind the honeybee headlines:
Affected by climate change, pesticides and insect deceases, the number of honeybees in the wild and in managed honeybee colonies continues to decline. In 2006, scientists witnessed a decline so bad they gave it a name - Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). What's strange about CCD is that, while it leaves colonies bereft of adult bees, there are no dead bees to be found near the hives.
Recently this topic has been grabbing headlines again as a declining honeybee population profoundly affects agriculture. While other species are capable of pollination, none do so as efficiently as the honeybee. Organizations and governments are trying hard to raise awareness about this growing problem (some in more entertaining fashion than others, see below).
This month, honeybees have been getting quite a bit of media attention online and off. Scientists are finding new causes behind this mysterious decline, and on August 22 of this year, the first ever National Honey Bee Awareness Day was held in the US where approximately 30 percent of the managed colonies died over the winter.
About a third of what we eat comes from crops pollinated by honeybees, and bee pollination is particularly important to specialty crops like almonds, berries, tree fruits and many vegetables.
Yet as the demand for honeybees grows, their numbers decline.
The US saw a decline from 3.5 million in 2008 to 2.4 million today, and earlier this month, Washington State University researchers on the trail of a mysterious honeybee killer announced to have narrowed the list of contributors to two -- a microscopic pathogen and pesticides.
In the UK, BBC reported that almost a fifth of the honeybees died last winter, which, combined with an average 30% loss the year before, means beekeepers are struggling to keep colonies going.
Britain's conservation watchdog, Natural England, recently called on people living in urban areas to consider keeping bees. "We want urban people to engage with wildlife and get joy and pleasure from it. The more hives you have the more resilient the whole population is to the outbreak of disease."
Various companies like Haagen Dazs and Dundee are getting behind the cause as up to 50 percent of their products rely on the work of honeybees.
Here are a few ways you can help save the honeybees:
1) Consider beekeeping as a worthwhile hobby and seek information to get started. The more beekeepers there are, translates into more voices to be heard.
2) Support local beekeepers by buying locally produced honey and other beehive products. Honey is the best "green" sweetener you can use.
3) Attend and support beekeeper association events held throughout the year in most communities such as environmental centers, schools, state parks, and other various places.
4.) Listen to music: Below, the Lanman brothers took a mainstream rap video and used it to raise awareness about bees. Titled "Do the Honeybee", the Lanman brothers hope that video "will help raise honey bee awareness in a fun and original way, and appeal to the greater population."