Bee a Helper Project

Why are bees so important? 

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from flower to flower to produce seeds. Seeds are found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Without the honey bee and other pollinators our essential crops would decline. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bees pollinate 80% of our flowering crops — which comprises a third of everything we eat. The honey bee also produces our beloved honey. Many plants such as almonds, pears, apples, strawberries, and blackberries are only pollinated by bees.

A massive decline in bee population has been reported in the US by beekeepers, in some states the decline is severe as 70% of the population. This phenomenon causing the decline in bee population is being call the Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

But what does Colony Collapse Disorder really mean?

Colony Collapse Disorder is a disorder defined by worker bees in a bee colony disappearing, which in turn decimated the bee population. CCD is not to be confused with simple bee migration though. There are several key differences between CCD and Bees migrating. In an episode of CCD hives were found to still contain large stores of honey and pollen inside but there were no worker bees to be found, whilst migrating bees will carry their stores of food with them to be used later. Another good indication of CCD versus migration has to do with the Queen. In an episode of CCD, the worker bees will abandon their queen when they disappear, whereas migrating bees with carry their queen to the new location.

What Causes Colony Collapse Disorder?

Scientists have been able to identify several factors they believe to be the cause of CCD in Honeybees. The first and most destructive to the bees in presence of varroa mites invading hives. Varroa mites are a parasite which can only breed inside of bee colonies and carry deadly viruses that they pass to the bees which can cause paralysis in bees and cause deformed wing syndrome. On top of the viruses, bees can get directly from these little pests is the fact that once the viruses have weakened the immunity of their hosting bees they make them susceptible to any number of other ailments. Varroa mites will also feed on bee larvae, further decimating their numbers. Besides Varroa mites bees also have to contend with other factors that cause CCD such as fungal infections, invading hive beetles, the use of pesticides, and even weather changes. Though it is said that pesticides with rarely lead to the death of bees they have been linked to the change in development in bee, especially in pesticides containing thiamethoxam and clothianidin chemicals. Neonicotinoids is a relatively new class of insecticides that are known to affect the central nervous system of insects that results in paralysis and death. When bees are exposed to neonicotinoids, they go into a shock and are no longer able to find their way back to the hive.

Rocky Mountain Honey Company can Bee a Helper

With the help of our valued customers RMHC is giving back to the Bee. Each honey bear bought we are donating 5% to Project Apis M. The mission of Project Apis M is to fund and direct research to enhance the health and vitality of honey bee colonies while improving crop production. Since 2006, Project Apis M has been directing and funding honey bee research. In collaboration with some of the top researchers, scientists, and institutions in the world, Project Apis M has influenced groundbreaking research that informs bee keepers, growers, and the scientific community, and is continuously working towards improving the health of the honey bee. We feel that Project Apis M has the right tools and people in place to help save the bee. Here is a link to their website for more information and programs provided by them.