Disappearing Bees....disappearing crops
The almond industry, which has emerged over the last decade as one of the biggest and most profitable in California agriculture, depends on bees for pollination. And so every spring, fully 60% of the commercially kept honeybees in the United States -- more than 1 million hives -- are trucked to California's Central Valley to do their thing.Not only are the bees disapearing...but their hives are too. Beehive heists are now big business for the "bad guys."
But what happens when one of the state's fastest-growing businesses depends on workers who are disappearing almost as quickly? That's what California's almond farmers are waiting to find out.
California produces almost 80% of the world's almonds, grossing more than $2 billion in 2007. The state's almond exports are more than twice the value of its wine exports.
While almonds have been growing into an agricultural powerhouse, bee populations have been dwindling. Most recently, plagued by a mysterious condition called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, honeybee colonies across the country have been vanishing, abandoning perfectly good hives. Even after two years, no one yet knows why. Theories are many, but definite answers are few.
And though the source of the disease is a mystery, its potential effects are not -- at least when it comes to almonds. Because it's this simple: Without bees, there are no nuts. - Latte Times
In the long, flat valley where the nation's almonds grow, bee thieves are striking hard this winter, nabbing increasingly valuable hives from farmers' fields where bees are used to pollinate blossoming nut trees.One delicious way to help out, is to eat Ice Cream. No, really.
A few weeks ago, 180 of Hall's hives were lifted over a period of days, a bit of banditry he estimates cost him nearly $70,000 in lost bees, pollination fees and honey production. - Forbes
Häagen-Dazs' Help Save the Honey Bee!
This month ice-cream makers go on the offensive. Häagen-Dazs is launching two new honey-themed flavors and labeling bee-dependent pints to help save the honeybee. A portion of the proceeds, up to $250,000, will go to geneticists, entomologists, and educators at the University of California at Davis and Pennsylvania State University who will research the causes of the bees’ decline, create stronger bees in the laboratory, and teach the public how to make their surroundings more bee friendly.
The two new flavors—Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream and Vanilla Honey & Granola frozen yogurt—are both delicious. The honey flavor is sharp without overwhelming the vanilla, and samples left in DISCOVER’s freezer vanished in record time. So next time you’re looking for a virtuous indulgence, think of the honeybees. - Discover