the vanishing of the bees
‘Imagine half a million adults skipping town and leaving their children behind. Picture an opened suitcase filled with bundles of cash at a bus stop and yet no robber wants to snatch it. The apiary science mystery known as “Colony Collapse Disorder” displays these very symptoms. Not only do the bees abandon their hive, but the queen and the brood as well. Unnatural. Unheard of. Even the predators that usually raid the hive for honey stay far away. At first, this occurrence sounds like an urban legend or an exaggerated tale. Except it’s not. The situation is both dire and all too real. Bees are disappearing all over the planet and no one knows why.’
‘Beekeepers and scientists are still unsure what is causing the loss of so many bees, but the fact is that bees are disappearing at alarming rates all over the world. In the UK, around one fifth of honeybee hives were lost in the winter of 2008/09. The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) estimates that if people were to take over the job of pollination from bees in the UK, it would require a workforce of 30 million. In southern China pear trees have to be pollinated by hand after the uncontrolled use of pesticides in the 1980s killed their honeybee population.’
As a workforce of one down on my allotment I rely on the bees for nearly all of my crops. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to eat any of these allotment harvested fruits, vegetables and herbs (click here for a full list of bee reliant crops)
While the garden rests over winter the gardener does not. Pouring over seed catalogue’s and hatching plans for companion planting to encourage bees into your garden takes quite some thought. So to ensure my efforts aren’t wasted I’ll be visiting Gloucester Guildhall on 28th January to see ‘The Vanishing of the bees‘, followed by a talk from The Global Bee Project. If you live in Gloucestershire please spread the word and come along.
For film showings in other areas click this link.