Honey has been in the hearts of Aussies for, well, forever. The delicious sweet produced by bees has been in the Aussie diet for a long time. But while we are going through our days’ bees in Australia, and around the world are perishing.
Slowly, but surely bees are dying. While there can be many reasons why that is happening, every one of us can do something about it. Because of the importance bees have to the world, it’s important we protect them, any way we can.
What Kills the Bees?
To help the little honey producers, we’ll have to understand what kills them. In the bee world, there are many killers, some human-made, other natural predators to bees.
The Varroa Mite in Australia
While varroa mite is still a distant problem in Australia, our bees aren’t immune. America and Europe have already had problems with varroa mite, and Australia is in the starting stages of dealing with this problem.
The varroa mite is an external parasitic mite that has the ability to destroy the whole beehive.
Most hives affected by the varroa mite die in the late Autumn or early Spring. The way these mites destroy the bees is by sucking the fat and blood of drones (the male honeybees).
Recently, Asian bees, which are known carriers of the mite, have been spotted in Australia. The bees, introduced via a ship, were initially spotted in Portsmouth in 2007 and for the past 10 years, they’ve spread all over Australia. Because of that, Australia isn’t varroa mite proof.
Being one of the most serious challenges bees face, the variable climate makes many beehives perish.
The rapidly changing weather stresses the bees, with newly formed hives dying from starvation. Wild bees can’t do much about this problem; however, beekeepers can feed their beehives sugar syrup as a preventative measure.
Insecticides and Pesticides
Another huge problem is the use of insecticides and pesticides. To be precise neonicotinoids. Europe and America have taken preventative measures banning the use of neonicotinoids. However, in Australia, they are still widely used, and they can cause serious problems for the health of the bees.
Beekeepers can move their hives to places where neonics are rarely used. In fact, while many horticultural crops rely on these chemicals for their survival, many crops can hugely benefit from the pollination of bees.
It’s proven that bees can experience stress from malnutrition. That stress can be caused by insecticides on crops, which bees pollinate. The nutritional value of such crops is less than of crops that aren’t sprayed.
When bees collect pollen from such crops, they have to make more trips to get enough food to survive. This tires the bees, many of which drop dead while flying from the hive to the crop.
Domesticated honey bees can be managed by given sugar syrup to help them with food gathering. However, wild bees are dependent on their own food; this makes their numbers decline much faster all over the world.
How Can All of Us Help
While not everyone can be a beekeeper, we have the power to help save the bees. It takes some effort, but it’s doable nonetheless.
Here are some things all of us can do to help bees live a bit longer and reproduce better.
Grow Herbs to Help the Bees
Believe it or not, you can help the bees just by growing herbs in your backyard. If you notice bees coming to your garden, then they can also benefit if you plant and grow herbs.
Herbs are great medicine for bees, and they are quite easy to grow, not to mention the great aroma some of them have. Spare a little space in your garden to help the furry yellow fliers!
Grow Seeds Which Aren’t Dipped in Neonicotinoids
Next time you are growing a plant, make sure the seeds aren’t dipped in neonics. They are dangerous, even deadly to bees.
When the bee collects pollen from these plants, they are likely to die from the poisonous neonicotinoids.
Instead, grow natural seeds, which aren’t poisonous to bees.
Buy From Local Beekeepers
One of the best ways we can help the bees of Australia is to buy for local bee producers. That way, we help local producers with recouping their losses and growing their businesses, providing us with more delicious honey, and growing the numbers of bees.
Call Professionals to Remove the Bees
Fantastic Pest Control recommends relying on experts to handle a complicated situation. Don’t disturb the beehive or the bees in any way. If you try to do this by yourself you risk damage to both the hive and yourself.
Limit or Eliminate the Use of Insecticides in Your Garden
By limiting the use of insecticides on the plants in your garden, you can be sure that the plant is safe for the bee to collect pollen from, and even better pollinate other plants in your garden.
That way, you will have a healthy and ever-flourishing backyard with the help of the bees.
Australia and Its Vast Diversity of Bees
Australia is a country with unique wildlife, and our bees are one of a kind as well. With more than 1,600 species of wild native bees, we, Aussies, should do everything we can to preserve our bees.
Australia is the only country in the world where stingless bees can be found.
Because bees are dying fast, we should protect our little yellow fliers. By using means such as growing healthier, pesticide-free crops, making our little personal gardens safer for bees, and even contacting the right people to help with the removal of wild bees on our property, you can assure that you’re doing your part in helping with the preservation of the Australian bees.
A World Without Bees
Living in a world without bees can be extremely scary. Around ⅓ of all crops in the world are dependent on the pollination of bees to survive.
Apples, cherries, avocadoes, most leafy greens, cucumbers, pumpkins and many more vegetables and fruits would disappear. This is worrying for all humans, as we heavily depend on such foods. Not to mention the loss of oilseeds like sunflower, oil palm and groundnut, as these plants are also quite dependent on pollination.
Even the cotton plant would disappear.
So many things would crumble without bees, and we’ve just scratched the surface of the problems that would come if bees weren’t present. You can only imagine the problems us humans will have to deal with if bees go extinct. That’s why we should help them in any way possible.