Currently, the United States Department of Agriculture subsidiary departments are trying to determine the main cause of the honey bee collapse. The population collapse has been narrowed down to 4 potential reason or a combination of the 4, they are,
Until the true cause is known, all that can be done is further research. The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) has committed $117,000 of additional funding to their already $1.7 million yearly budget to do more in depth studies on honey bee population collapse. Additionally, the Areawide Integrated Pest Management program added $1 million annually for the next 5 years to more advanced studies of honey bee collapse. Beyond monetary funding for scientific research, not much is being done in the way of recovery. However, understanging should ultimately lead to recovery.
There have been some good documentaries to promote awareness of the issue. “The Vanishing of the Bees” which was narrated by actress Ellen Page jumps to mind. Some advice that people like Vanishing of the Bees director George Langworthy gives is to not use pesticides or herbicides in your gardens, buy from organic and permaculture farmers who are not using chemicals that can harm bees, and put pressure on the EPA to better regulate what chemicals industrial agriculture is using. The documentary site also recommends planting gardens.
I work for an Argentinian beekeeper named Oscar Perone who has developed a “do-nothing” system of beekeeping that allows bees to live as they do in nature (conventional beekeeping interferes with the bees’ way of life in many ways). Mr. Perone’s technique has been in use since 2004 and has had tremendous results. He has worked in Columbia, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile and none of the beekeepers who use his style have experienced CCD. We are working on forming a foundation called “Save the Bees” so that we can bring his work to the United States. We expect to have an English website up and running by early December.
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