More than 200,000 species 
of pollinators are critical to the 
growth of our food supply. 

Without them, 
we would go hungry.


Information from the USDA

Colony Collapse Disorder

Honey bees are a critical link in U.S. agricultural production. Pollination by managed honey bee colonies adds at least $15 billion to the value of U.S. agriculture annually through increased yields and superior-quality harvests. But managed honey bees have come under serious pressures from many different stresses, which has resulted in beekeepers losing many colonies.

One problem plaguing honey bees since 2006 has been Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is a syndrome specifically defined as a dead colony with no adult bees and with no dead bee bodies, but with a live queen, and usually honey and immature bees, still present. CCD is not a general term that covers all managed honey bee colonies that are lost due to any reason. No scientific cause for CCD has been proven. Most research has pointed to a complex of factors being involved in the cause of CCD, and possibly not all of the same factors, or the same factors in the same order, are involved in all CCD incidents.

CCD is far from the only major threat to the health of honey bees and the economic stability of commercial beekeeping in the United States. In fact, the number of managed colonies that beekeepers have reported losing specifically from CCD began to wane in 2010 and has continued to drop. But the beekeeping industry continues to report losing a high percentage of their colonies each year to other causes.

Major factors threatening honey bee health can be divided into four general areas: parasites and pests, pathogens, poor nutrition, and sublethal exposure to pesticides. In reality though, these factors tend to overlap and interact with one another, which complicates issues. In addition, there are other issues that have impacts on honey bee health such as the narrow genetic base of honey bees in the United States.

Best Recommendations for the Public

The best action the public can take to improve honey bee survival is not to use pesticides indiscriminately. In particular, the public should avoid applying pesticides during mid-day hours, when honey bees are most likely to be out foraging for nectar and pollen on flowering plants.

In addition, the public can plant pollinator-friendly (for butterflies, too) plants that are good sources of nectar and pollen such as red clover, foxglove, bee balm, joe-pye weed, and other plants.

I knew next to nothing about the feeding and nutrition needs of the honeybee until i visited Michigan University College of Natural Science 
Pollinator Science Initiative online.

It states that : "honey bees, like all other animals, require essential ingredients for survival and reproduction. Most of what we know about honey bee nutrition was learned from the 1950s through the 1970s; only during the last few years have we started to pay attention to honey bee nutrition again. Honey bees require carbohydrates (sugars in nectar or honey), amino acids (protein from pollen), lipids (fatty acids, sterols), vitamins, minerals (salts) and water. Additionally, these nutrients must be present in the right ratios for honey bees to survive and thrive."

Download this in-depth guide to feeding honeybees 
from the Michigan State University Extension in .pdf format

Garden Design Plans For Happy Bees and Pollinators of all types. 
Just click the pics and download the  design as a .pdf file




     Suggested reading to learn about bees and other pollinators, decor, and gardening methods.

My mason bee house

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