Backyard beekeeping has risen dramatically in the U.S. Unfortunately, in many areas there just aren’t enough nectar and pollen plants to go around to feed all the hungry honey bees. The result: starving honey bees or bees that seek out any sugary substance close at hand, in order to survive. You may have heard about the red honey that was reported in Brooklyn, NY in 2010 when honey bee colonies went “dumpster diving” in a maraschino cherry factory. Blue and green honey just appeared this past fall in Alsace, France when honey bees raided an M & M factory. This can’t be good for the bees, and it certainly can’t be good for us when we eat their honey.
In London, where beekeeping has exploded, the Secretary of the London Beekeepers Association has cautioned that there are not enough forage plants to go around. Without forage plants, honey bees starve. This is now a growing concern in U.S. cities and suburban backyards, as beekeeping becomes a popular activity, but without a commensurate increase in nectar and pollen sources.
EcoBeneficial is launching a campaign called: Feed the Bees! to raise awareness of this problem and to educate homeowners, gardeners, and beekeepers on how to garden to support honey bees and our many native bees. Even if you aren’t a beekeeper, you can help!
Stay tuned for more information.
Happy Nectaring from Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!
Photo: Honey Bee (Apis millifera) on Poor Man’s Patch (Mentzelia floridana)
Photo credit: Flickr/Bob Peterson