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It's disappointing that this article mentions only "disease and parasites" for the decline in bees, as readers may be lead to believe that Mother Nature has simply dealt bees a bad hand. In fact, many studies now point to pesticides as the prime suspect, especially those pesticides used in industrial agriculture. We would be wise to realize the vital importance wild and domestic bees have for the ecosystems on which we rely, and to do everything we can to protect them, even if it means reducing or banning the use of such pesticides.
I have one Queen of the Prairie plant (Filipendula rubra) in my backyard that regularly attracts a dozen or more bumble bees at one time, along with some regular honey bees. It's an awesome plant, growing 6 feet tall.
One small step anyone can do is to plant more native species in the yard.
Thank you Seth Borenstein for this article. This is an environmental issue that should be taken very seriously. Bees play a crucial role in the pollination of food plants in our ecosystem.
For more information, go to http://greenplanetethics.com/wordpress/why-bees-and-bees-pollination-are-important-to-the-ecosystem-and-humans/
Yes, there was a recent study published linking environmental cause probabability - I can't recall if is was sprayed insecticides or insect repelling genetically modfified plants, or both. Anyway, it was definitely a mand-made issue, and no, i am not a tree-hugger.
I enjoy the bumblebees in my back yard garden. They mind their own business and are pretty much harmless. And they pollenate all my flowers. Its those pesky non-native yellow jackets that I hate. You know...the ones that buzz around your pop can and make eating outside in the fall almost impossible. I wish bumblebees had a taste for them.
Too bad the article didn't elaborate on the economic importance of pollinators. So many plants require the assistance of insects, that the entire agricultural well being relies on them. For those so inclined, it is fairly easy to construct a native pollinator nest box. Go to the xerces dot org website for plans and information.
I cannot even sit out on my deck after mid August, due to the bees. If they are declining.....Good!
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