6 Companies And Organizations Concerned With The Health And Survival Of Bees
Whether you love honey, keep your own bee hives, or understand how much the crops we grow for food rely on pollinators, you may be concerned about the issues faced by bee populations around the world. From pesticides to parasites, there are a number of problems that threaten the lives of these important insects. Luckily, organizations like the ones listed here are working to help bees survive and thrive. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Groups Helping With Bee Conservation Efforts
|Apis Restaurant and Apiary||Spicewood, TX|
|West Plains Beekeepers Association||Medical Lake, WA|
|Vita Europe||Basingstoke, UK|
|Urban Bee San Francisco||San Francisco, CA|
|Moray Beekeeping Dinosaurs||Moray, Scotland|
Fascinating Facts About Bees
- 40,000 bee species exist worldwide
- Honey bees are native to Africa, Europe, and Asia, and were introduced to the Americas by Europeans
- Nonhoney bees, such as bumble bees and solitary bees, pollinate many wild and agricultural plants in the United States
- One out of every three bites of food in the United States depends on honey bees and other pollinators
- Honey bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops each year, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables
- Beehives are in danger due to disease, parasites, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure, among other issues
- Pollinators are important to wild plants, with at least 90% of flowering plants requiring animal pollination for reproduction
- Bees occur on every continent except Antarctica
- Bumble bees help pollinate squash, pumpkin, zucchini, cranberries, apples, tomatoes, and many other crops
The Importance Of Bees
Tips For Starting Your Own Garden
Not everyone has the time or desire to be a beekeeper, but if you have access to some outdoor space, or even just a good spot to set up a window box, you can help the bees by planting a garden.
- Look up which native plants are best for the pollinators in your area
- Make sure you have all the tools you need
- Keep everything organized so nothing gets lost
- Use a stool to stay comfortable while you work
- Or avoid crouching down altogether by having a raised garden
- Light the garden so that you can enjoy it at night as well
- Remember to mark your plants so you know what you're growing
- If you're having trouble with pests, put up a fence
- Prune your plants regularly
How A Bee Becomes Queen
Widespread declines in bee populations have been a wake-up call for humanity, forcing us to acknowledge the crucial role these insects play in the ecosystems on which we depend. In response, efforts around the world have emerged to help conserve these vital pollinators. In no particular order, here are six businesses and groups working to secure the future of bees.
We'll start at #1 with Apis Restaurant and Apiary. Located in Spicewood, Texas, and encompassing both an eatery and a honeybee habitat, Apis is the creation of chef Taylor Hall. The design of the dining area is inspired by honeycombs and hives, and many of the dishes and cocktails on the menu are flavored with honey produced on the premises.
Apis is committed to sustainability, helping to preserve the ecologically vital honeybee population by tending a number of hives both on and off site. They source many ingredients locally and seasonally, partnering with local farms like TerraPurezza and Anson Mills, and their Wild Pork Program produces Italian-style aged sausage from free-roaming local hogs. The restaurant hosts events highlighting guest chefs and featured farms.
They source many ingredients locally and seasonally, partnering with local farms like TerraPurezza and Anson Mills, and their Wild Pork Program produces Italian-style aged sausage from free-roaming local hogs.
Next in the order is #2, the West Plains Beekeepers Association. A nonprofit based in Medical Lake, Washington, this group works to train interested individuals in the practice of raising colonies and harvesting honey. The organization offers classes covering everything from the installation and management of hives, to the extraction of honey, and provides information on local ordinances and registration requirements.
Along with classes and certifications, the WPBA offers a number of services for aspiring beekeepers, including assistance locating experienced mentors, or local properties interested in hosting hives. The group also provides links to other resources around the web. Members on the Swarmcatchers list are also available to help safely corral wild bees. Those interested in supporting the Association can donate or sign up as members.
#3 in our overview is Vita Europe, a company developing and distributing specialty biotech offerings. Their Bee Health division provides a wide range of resources for apiarists, taking an ecologically committed approach that uses Integrated Pest Management solutions whenever possible. Their signature VitaFeed line focuses on strengthening colony health, thereby increasing resilience to parasites and disease.
Their signature VitaFeed line focuses on strengthening colony health, thereby increasing resilience to parasites and disease.
Vita offers innovations like the Bee Gym, designed to assist grooming behavior and control parasite infestations, or pest-catching devices such as the ApiShield trap for invasive and destructive Asian hornets. The Foulbrood diagnostic kit can enable keepers to monitor hives for disease, while the Swarm Lure helps attract passing bees. The company also organizes an annual photo competition, collecting images of these insects in action.
Coming in at #4 is Urban Bee San Francisco, a project dedicated to supporting pollinators, and advocating against harmful practices such as the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Created by activist and urban apiarist Terry Oxford, this initiative promotes the chemical-free cultivation of flowers and trees, to supply healthy forage for bees and other insects.
Urban Bee San Francisco collaborates with local businesses to plant organic flora, and construct rooftop hives or habitats for wild insects. On Pollinators and Power, a podcast hosted by Oxford, guests like the author of Vanishing Bees discuss the challenges and opportunities for those seeking to preserve these vital species. Individuals interested in contributing to this effort can read about ways to assist pollinators, or purchase the honey produced by the organization's hives.
On Pollinators and Power, a podcast hosted by Oxford, guests like the author of Vanishing Bees discuss the challenges and opportunities for those seeking to preserve these vital species.
Next up at #5 is Moray Beekeeping Dinosaurs, a virtual network of enthusiasts and hobbyists based near Inverness, Scotland. This group provides a wide range of information for prospective apiarists, such as tips on hive box construction, lists of preferred flowers to encourage foraging, and a guide to pollen colors. Their educational resources also include information on bee varieties in the wild.
Much of the material supplied by Moray Beekeeping Dinosaurs deals with threats like diseases and pesticides, including a detailed explanation of the dangers posed by neonicotinoid compounds. The organization highlights harmful pests such as the Varroa mite, and discusses effective treatments. And it shares news updates from the world of beekeeping.
We'll conclude with #6, Melliferopolis. This project, begun by Austrian artist and researcher Christina Stadlbauer, works within urban environments to create spaces that house bees, and offer opportunities for human interaction with wildlife. The initiative combines elements of science, art, and conservation, incorporating features such as installation pieces, innovations in hive architecture, and observational studies of foraged pollen.
This project, begun by Austrian artist and researcher Christina Stadlbauer, works within urban environments to create spaces that house bees, and offer opportunities for human interaction with wildlife.
The works that make up Melliferopolis include performance pieces, flower bed installations, and even improvised concerts featuring music based on sounds captured from within living hives. Many of these creations comment on humanity's historical and cultural relationship with bees, or on the crucial ecological importance of pollinators. The project also hosts creative and interpretive workshops, and other events such as documentary film screenings.