Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Where Have All The Flowers Gone? Ask The Bee’s

Well I guess that would be the million dollar question, wouldn’t it??  While there is a lot of information and certainly a lot of speculation, the facts are that over 80% of our Honey Bee

Honey Bee

population is missing. This statistic is staggering!

In recent years there has been a steady decline in the honey bee population, in most cases, honey bee farmers have had historically large number of bees annually, than one year, they are completely gone, or the numbers are severely reduced. This is concerning immediately to the farmers who rely on these honey bees to fertilize their crops. In a grand scale, it is horrifying.

Why, you ask? Well without honey bees, we aren’t just losing the valuable honey supply many people like myself and my family have come to rely on in place of sugar, but that also means that there are no bees to fertilize the food supply that ALL of us eat. Not to mention the loss of flowers, as most of us may not realize that without bees, we would lose a majority of our food crops and most flowers would cease to exist.

There are a couple of theories that try to explain what is now referred to as “Colony Collapse Disorder”. Some believe it is cell phone towers throwing off the signals for bees to return to their hives, or that the radiation from these towers is doing the damage.  Another theory is that the Royal jelly that comes from China has the disease and is spreading it to other colonies. In fact right here in the US, Bee farmers will ship bees to other states to help  pollinate crops in other states like those in Florida for example, so if those bees come in contact with  other diseased bees than it can also spread that way. Beijing no longer have any bees in the country, they pollinate their Pear trees (which is how they make their living) by climbing up a ladder and cross pollinating with a feather duster. The last theory I am aware of as yet, and Personally believe to be true, suggests it is the overuse of pesticides that have been poisoning our planet for far too many years.

The gross overuse of pesticides was initiated during the Eisenhower administration to ensure that school age children would never go hungry. The intention was, that by using these broad spectrum insecticides, we could ensure larger crops for our farmers and therefore ensure food for our country. During these difficult times the government began to stock pile wheat and grain in case  of emergencies. Well, what may have started out as an idea to feed the hungry, ended up being a bottom line for the chemical companies. They latched on to the success of these products to the demise of the planet, and never looked back.

What the chemical companies failed to recognize, or simply ignored, is that these products go out into the environment in terrifying numbers and destroy the water, the soil and the wild before you knew it, we as a nation went from Grandmas remedy for this and that, to Western medicine and chemical pesticides. Over the next few generations, it was general practice to buy the bag of whatever, apply it however, just as your Dad and the Dad before him. We are now coming to realize what these habits have cost us and it is time we all make a change for the better. When you know better, you do better…

Can we save the bees? I dont know, what I do know however, is that we will not live long without them. It is predicted that at the rate the bees are disappearing, if it continues, the honey Bee population could be gone in 3 years. If that is true, civilization as we know it would be over. Some scientists speculate world hunger and other such doom and gloom predictions and while they may be right, instead of speculating, we need to take hold now and make that change.

In my yard, there are so many bee’s sometimes it is a little intimidating. I feel like I am in their house and in their way. Not because I have more bee’s on my side of the street, but because my yard is a sanctuary for them, flowers instead of lawns, I have fruit trees for shade, no chemicals of any kind, and I encourage them to come without fear and they know they are safe here. One day last year in the heat of the day, I could literally see my bushes moving there were so many bee’s outside, I got to admit, it freaked me out a bit, you could hear the buzz over my water falls. It took me aback, and I realized how precious that moment was and how fleeting it may be.

I will continue to make my space a sanctuary for all wildlife and hope that my small contribution will be part of the greater good, while encouraging all of you to educate yourselves on such matters and take on your own causes to make an impact on this beautiful Earth we are stewards of, while there is still time.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.  ~Native American Proverb

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design                                                                                                                                                                      

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

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  1. Do bees and butterflies co-exist in a garden? Is one more beneficial than the other?

  2. Patty that is a great question. Butterflies and Bees do co-exist in the garden as they aren’t predatory towards one another, however, the Bee wins as the most beneficial. Butterflies land on the flower and use their proboscis to drink the nectar, they transfer pollen on their feet and mouth parts in small doses and gravitate to certain plants. Bees on the other hand tuck the pollen they gather in the long hairs at the back of their legs. (I have a picture of this on my Facebook page today @ Lisa’s Landscape & Design) Sense the bees move from flower to fruit to flower gathering pollen from each, they are certainly busier and therefore more productive and beneficial.

    • cool thanks. I know bees are beneficial. I just don’t like getting stung. I try to stay out of their way 🙂

      • Thats right Patty, you just stay out of their way…Another really important element is fear, bees sense fear, just like dogs do, they will be more bothersome if you are fearful. I have gotten to love them so that I can stick my hand in a bush full of them and they dont even notice me. My husband says it’s because they know that I am the one putting out all the flowers, lol, Frankly, I think they have better things to do.

  3. Lisa in NC

    Hi! I actually read that scientists think they have found the cause of Colony Collapse, it’s a combination of a bacteria and fungus. Separately, either is not fatal to the hive, but together they are insurmountable for the bees. Ironically, to save the bees, they may need to be sprayed with fungicides and antibiotics….

    • Interesting, I hadn’t read that, but I hope you are right as maybe we can cure it before that are all gone.

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