( June 25, 2022; BackRe(Action) )
Description: "the boring truth is that the honey bees are doing fine. It’s the wild bees that are in danger. Whatever happened to the bees and how much of a problem is it? That’s what we’ll talk about today."
Honeybees aren’t the only bees that produce honey, but they are by far the ones who produce most of it. Most wild bees don’t produce honey. But they are important pollinators. Since wild bees have been around for so long they’ve become very specialized at pollinating certain plants. And for those plants replacing them with honey bees is very difficult. For example, squash flowers are open only until the early morning, a time at which many honeybees are still sleeping because they were partying a little too hard at their block party the night before. But a type of wild bees aptly named squash bees (Peponapis and Xenoglossa genera) wake up very early to do that job.
Maybe the biggest difference between honey bees and wild bees is that wild bees receive very little attention because no one sees them dying. They are struggling with the same problems as the honey bees, but don’t have beekeepers who weep over them, and data for their decline have been hard to come by.
Here are the points that interested me:
- Honey bees are in no danger. Humans depend on them for income, so beekeepers will always breed enough to maintain the population.
- Honey bees are native to Europe and North Africa. Everywhere else, they were introduced by humans.
- If any bees are in danger from "colony collapse disorder" (CCD), it's wild bees that don't have protection from human beekeepers. One of the best ways to help wild bees may be to grow native species of flowers.
Here's the embedded YouTube video:
And here' a TED talk I remember from a few years ago, where the speaker made the same point about growing flowers to protect the bees (see about 12:35).
Read the rest from BackRe(Action): Whatever happened to the Bee Apocalypse?
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