There was an song from the 60’s I think that asked the question "where have all the flowers gone?" but I am asking seriously this spring: "where have all the honeybees gone?"
I have read about the mysterious deaths of bee colonies in California and other areas where growing crops for food are a really big industry..especially the growing of fruits and nuts and now these crops are not being pollinated due to the deaths of many hives of honeybees. We might have to say goodbye to almonds as a food…also any fruits that needs to be pollinated and that is nearly all of it including citrus, apples, peaches, plums and berries. Say good bye to melons we love? Cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers? Nice ripe tomatoes? I get nearly sick thinking about the possibilities of crop losses. Alfalfa and clover are also pollinated by bees…buckwheat and any other flowering grain crops….flax? I get horrified just thinking about all the flowering crops I know.
We have not seen honeybees here at our place this spring. I saw a lonely bumblebee but we had an apple tree in full bloom and did not see or hear the persistent buzz of honeybees in the branches. Last summer we had very few raspberries and found few chokecherries in spite of massive blooms on many wild bushes. Now we are wondering about the missing bee factor on that also. I do not think life is worth living with out ripe garden tomatoes and ripe raspberries….this is serious.
On the other hand, my friend who lives in Detroit Lakes has reported lots of bees buzzing in the lilac bushes near her home. Another friend who lives southwest of me by a number of miles on another farm has not seen bees this spring, either. So it is distressing. A beekeeper used to put out hives in an abondoned farmstead near us and now we wonder if those hives have died out and are not there any longer.
I googled honeybee deaths in the US yesterday and found some pretty alarming information. Bee deaths are worse than they have ever been although this has happened before on a smaller scale. Some non-scientific types have blamed cell phones and cell phone towers; some blame global warming (there are people who blame EVERYTHING on global warming). The real scientists are looking for causes such as viruses or fungi and seem to be zeroing in on one or both of those causes. The heavy use of pesticides is also suspected. Wouldn’t that be the limit if, with our massive farming "technologies", we have killed off half of our own food supplies by killing honeybees??? I have always been horrified when I see spray planes spreading pesticides or herbicides all over the environment so we do not have to be bitten by mosquitoes or have weeds in our crops. It may turn out to be shooting ourselves in our own feet by destroying natures’ pollinators.
I am not cheered up at all by reading the information on Google.