“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” — Albert Einstein
By Leigh Belanger
Photo by Michael Piazza
Styling by Catrine Kelty
Honeybees, it’s often cited, are responsible for pollinating one in three bites of food we eat. They pollinate over 70% of our food crops, which is part of why the recent vast hive die-offs known as colony collapse disorder are so unsettling. Without bees to pollinate the crops, supplies could drop and food prices could rise. Unless we protect the honeybees’ health, it’s a scenario we may watch unfold.
So what’s harming the honeybees? Among beekeepers and researchers, there’s no consensus that any one factor is to blame. Disease, stress, habitat loss, and pesticide exposure all play a role, says Noah Wilson-Rich of Best Bees, whose research focuses on ways to boost the immune function of honeybees so they have a better chance of survival.
What you can do to help honeybees:
1. Plant a pollinator garden. A diverse collection of native flowering plants in a range of bright colors—along with a range of blooming times—will give bees the habitat and food sources they need.
Close to the Hive: Eat Local Honey, It’s Better for You and the Bees
By Megan Greenberg
Photo by Jenny Acheson
Sure, it says “honey” on the label, but there’s a good chance that if you got your squeeze bear from the grocery store the only thing you’re adding to your morning tea is high-fructose corn syrup.
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